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Vinatieri Archive and Research

Felix Vinatieri (1834-1891), an Italian immigrant cornet player, fought in the Civil War, went West to serve at Ft. Sully on the Missouri River near present-day Pierre, S.D., then settled in Yankton, the first capital of Dakota Territory. In 1873 he joined Custer's Seventh Cavalry as bandmaster, and accompanied Custer's troops, when they explored the Black Hills in 1874. During the infamous Battle of the Little Big Horn, Vinatieri and the members of the Seventh Cavalry Band were ordered by Custer to remain on the steamboat, the Far West, an order that saved their lives. Afterwards, Vinatieri returned to Yankton, where he continued to teach, conduct, and compose.

The Museum's Vinatieri Archive contains the surviving, handwritten music composed or arranged by the bandmaster, as well as photographs and biographical information.

Anyone willing to contribute biographical, genealogical, or pictorial material concerning Vinatieri, the 7th Cavalry Band, and the band's members (see list below), is urged to contact the Museum at the address below.

Members of Vinateri's 7th Cavalry Band included the following:

Otto Arndt
Conrad Bammback
Ben Beck
Ed Burlis
Andrew Carter
Joseph Carroll
Peter Einiberger
Jacob Emerich
Julius Briesher
Julius Jungsbluth
Joseph Kneubuckler
Frank Lombard
George A. Merritt
Bernard O'Neill
George Rudolph
Thomas Sherbon

Links to Civil War Era Pages on the National Music Museum Website:

Bucktails Regiment Bass Drum
Cabinet Card Photograph and Story of Musician Avery Brown (1852-1904) America's Youngest Civil War Soldier
Civil War Instruments on Exhibit at Museum
Civil War Drums and Brass Instruments
Three Civil War Era Drums
Violin Played by Civil War Soldier
Custer's Last Band: Concert and CD Release
Felix Vinatieri Archive

National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD   57069

©National Music Museum, 2001-2014
Most recent update:   March 3, 2014

The University of South Dakota
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