Fifes were a popular musical instrument in every regiment and the sound was very military and carried well. A simple fife like this would play 3 octaves of notes!!! This one could have been used as a fife, with the regiment, or as a similar but more sophisticated piccolo in the full regimental band. Stamped faintly just below the blow hole is U. INDICATES THAT IT WAS AN ARMY OWNED AND ISSUED INSTRUMENT, AND POSSIBLY WAS USED BY A REGULAR U.
In any event, MARKED FIFES AND INSTRUMENTS ARE FAIRLY UNCOMMON, AND THIS HAS THE ISSUE DATE, 1862, AS WELL, MAKING IT EVEN SCARCER. This is a nice musician item to add to any collection and of course, especially to go with a collection of musical related items. This has been in my collection for many years.End piece also has 4 hand cut "notches" which are neat. Have no idea what they were for, but they obviously meant something to the owner.... One for each year of service?? One for each major battle or campaign? One of the 5 original silver keys is missing, but the other 4 are present and work well.
Other than that, the instrument is in excellent condition. This has a great look. Don't know if it plays, as I don't know how, but I do not know why it would not. IT CAN BE ADDED TO A DISPLAY OR COLLECTION OR POSSIBLY BE USED IN PARADES OR AROUND THE CAMPFIRE!!
You will not find many US or dated fifes today! The item "Rare Civil War MARKED & DATED 1862 US Issue Ebony Fife, Piccolo, Musician, GIFT" is in sale since Sunday, May 6, 2018. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Other Civil War Original Items". The seller is "marvinsmom9" and is located in Hampden, Massachusetts. This item can be shipped worldwide.