June 23, 2009

The Old Soldier Fiddlers

The postcard below was sent to my great-grandfather in 1909. The legend says: The Old Soldier Fiddlers, "The Blue and the Gray," who actually served in the opposing armies during the Civil War from 1863 to 1865.

The back of the card has a return address that looks rubber-stamped: E. A. Stoffel, Photographer, Huntington, W. Va. , and the message area carries an oval insignia, faintly rubber-stamped in blue, which reads "Col. J. A. Pattee, Special Agent, Huntington, W. VA." It is hand-addressed to Dr J P Suiter, Hadley, Mich.

Perhaps great-grandfather ordered the card from the photographer at a reunion or Memorial Day event. A quick Google search revealed that John A. Pattee was born in Huron, Michigan in 1844, served in the war, and much later formed a vaudeville act called the The Old Soldier Fiddlers.


  1. "Col." Pattee was my great-great grandfather. He did fight in the Civil War for the North, but the Colonel was added to his stage name when he formed the vaudeville band of former soldiers who fought for the North and the South. He was just a kid during the war and probably never advanced beyond being a corporal. But my grandmother said he was buried in Arlington, so that is my next goal, to find his site.

  2. Thanks so much for contributing that information, Elizabeth.

  3. Col. Pattee was also my gr-gr grandfather. His daughter married my gr grandfather MARSH. I have copies of letters between John Pattee and his mother during the civil war and after when he tried farming in IOWA. Very interesting stuff.


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