Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dear Old Stars and Stripes

In 1908 when my maternal grandfather, Stanton M. Bower (1888-1965) was 20 years old he enlisted for five years as a private with the NY National Guard, Battery B, 2nd Field Artillery. He was also a talented artist and musician. In 1909 he composed a song Dear Old Stars and Stripes and dedicated it to the Officers and Men of the Second Battery.

At the time of his enlistment he was living at home with his mother, Irene McCord Bower and his sister, Leila, in the Bronx. His father, Samuel Bower, left home in 1901. 

The top two are postcard photos.

Dear Old Stars and Stripes was published by the Tremont Music Co., 210 E. 181st Street, Bronx, NY, my grandfather's home address. In addition to writing the words and music he also did the artwork for the cover.

"When the call "to arms" is sounded,
When we hear the bugle blow,
Bid farewell to all our sweethearts 
As off to war we go. . . "

He was discharged on March 4, 1913. His horsemanship was "good" and his "service honest and faithful."

Last month I made this small quilt top. I'm thinking it needs to be softened with some tea-dye and I might even write in the words to the chorus:

Dear Old Stars and Stripes we love you, 
 And to you we'll e'er be true,
Dear Old Flag your stars shine brightly,
On your pretty field of blue . . . "  

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer


  1. Barbara, Your quilt is wonderful and would be nice with the lyrics of the song and slightly aged. Researching family history has been on a back burner for me as of late but your post is both interesting and inspiring. Thanks!

  2. Greta, I wrote the lyrics on the white stripes today and am pleased with the results. When it's all done I'll try and "age" it a bit. Thanks for visiting :)

  3. What treasures you have shown us: the pictures, the discharge papers, the sheet music of that special song--words and music, and then your flag quilt! How fitting that you have written the lyrics on your quilt! Can't wait to see the finished project! A family heirloom for sure! ---"Love"

    1. I really had to concentrate writing the lyrics on that quilt. I was so afraid of making a mistake! Thanks for visiting!