Historians have long treated the patriotic anthems of the American
Civil War as colorful, if largely insignificant, side notes.
Beneath the surface of these songs, however, is a complex story.
"Maryland, My Maryland" was one of the most popular Confederate
songs during the American Civil War, yet its story is full of
ironies that draw attention to the often painful and contradictory
actions and beliefs that were both cause and effect of the war.
Most telling of all, it was adopted as one of a handful of Southern
anthems even though it celebrated a state that never joined the
Confederacy. In Maryland, My Maryland: Music and Patriotism during
the American Civil War James A. Davis illuminates the
incongruities underlying this Civil War anthem and what they reveal
about patriotism during the war. The geographic specificity of the
song's lyrics allowed the contest between regional and national
loyalties to be fought on bandstands as well as battlefields and
enabled "Maryland, My Maryland" to contribute to the shift in
patriotic allegiance from a specific, localized, and material place
to an ambiguous, inclusive, and imagined space. Musical patriotism,
it turns out, was easy to perform but hard to define for Civil