DAVIS, John O and FURBER, Albert G  - expert musicians assigned to the elite “Hilton Head Post Band”

 John O. Davis —

 John O. Davis first enlisted 27 Jun 1861 as a Band Musician, 11 Massachusetts Infantry for 3 yrs.; b. Exeter and resided in Newmarket and worked as a boot maker.  He mustered in 3 Aug 1861 and but was Discharged 8 Aug 1862.  He re-enlisted 6 Apr 1863. Mustered in 10 Apr 1863 as a 3rd Class Musician with the 2nd Brigade Band, Tenth Army Corps, NH Volunteers. He was born in Greenland, resided in and credited to Newmarket.  He mustered out from Hilton Head, S.C. on 4 Jul 1865.

 The 1870 Census lists his occupation as saloon keeper, age 31, married to Harriet Davis (age 30) as housekeeper with children Etta (age 6) and Herbert (age 3).  The Town directory of 1872 lists him employed for Furber & Davis, living on Main Street; by 1880 he was a widower providing for his two children and his mother Mahitabell Davis (age 63).   In May 1898, John Davis (age sixty-five) was found at the foot of his saloon cellar stairs with a broken neck.  A police investigation deemed it an accidental death. He had owned the restaurant/saloon for 35 years.  His obituary stated that he was a veteran of the late war, and a Knights of Phythias.  He was survived by only his son, Herbert Davis of Newmarket.

 Albert G. Furber —

enlisted 6 Apr 1863. Mustered in 10 Apr 1863 at age 33 as a 3rd Class Musician in the Second Brigade Band, 10th Army Corps.  Discharged 3 Nov 1863 at Folly Island, S.C.; however, he re-enlisted and was mustered out 4 Jul 1865 at Hilton Head, S.C.   Born in Lee to Isaac and Mary Furber, he resided in and was credited to Newmarket.  He resided on Harvey Court and was employed at Davis & Furber in the town directory of 1872.  He died in Town in 27 Feb 1904.

 Both men’s names appear on the pension list of 1890, with Newmarket residences; likewise both men’s names are engraved on the G.A.R. Memorial; and both men were expert musicians.  They had to be, as they were handpicked by Commander Gustavus Ingalls, and both were assigned to an elite group of musicians known as “The Hilton Head Post Band.”   After their discharge from the service both returned to Newmarket and their names appear on many post-war concert programs as musicians playing for various dances, balls, and celebrations.  They not only played together, they worked together in business as well.  Both men are listed in the 1870 Town Directory as being owners of the  saloon business of “Davis & Furber” on Main Street.  Albert lived on Harvey Court, and John lived on Main Street.”


SECOND BRIGADE BAND, 10th ARMY CORPS, NH Volunteers —  Also known as The Hilton Post Band

 By GUSTAVUS W. INGALLS, late Leader Brigade Band, 

This band was almost entirely enlisted by Gustavus W. Ingalls, the former leader of the regimental band of the Third New Hampshire Volunteers. The members were mustered into the service of the United States, at Concord, from February to April 1863, the organization being completed on the latter date. The band was enlisted under authority of General Order No. 91, Paragraph 6, War Department, Adjutant-General’s office, July 29, 1862, which provided for brigade bands of sixteen musicians each.

The band arrived at Hilton Head April 22, 1863. Its whole service was in the Department of the South (Sea Islands), and, in its own way, it performed excellent service, drawing much attention to itself by its superior qualities, and on many occasions of ceremony being accorded the place of honor. During a portion of its service a number of musicians were hired to increase the number and effectiveness, and at times there were soldiers detailed from regiments to further augment the band. A portion of the pay of the band was drawn from the Post fund at Hilton Head, and in this way it acquired for the time being the name of the “Post Band”.   The principal service of the band was on the three islands of Hilton Head, Folly, and Morris ; but its crowning, and nearly final effort, was at Fort Sumter, April 14, 1865, at the celebration of the restoration of the old flag. It was mustered out July 4, 1865, at Hilton Head, S. C., by Capt. Leslie Smith, x Inf., U. S. A.