Tune of the Day: Hell on the Wabash
The first appearance of this tune in print is in George B. Bruce and Daniel D. Emmett's The Drummers' and Fifers' Guide, published in New York in 1861. Its origins are uncertain, but many historians believe the melody was most likely written to immortalize either one of two military events: the 1791 defeat that the young United States Army suffered at the hands of the native Indians at the Battle of the Wabash, or the Battle of Tippecanoe along the Wabash River in 1811. Some, however, believe that Bruce and Emmett adapted an old fiddle tune and simply gave it a new arbitrary title, as they did for many other pieces.
The tune is featured in the piece “Fife and Gun”, which Randy Edelman wrote for the 1993 film Gettysburg.
Thanks to Steve for suggesting this tune!