Reveille! Daily Bugle Calls of an 1840s Garrison

A middle aged man poses for the camera in a 19th century US military uniform standing a bugle on his lap.
Private Louis H. Benz, chief bugler at West Point Military Academy, with his bugle

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division LC-DIG-ppmsca-40184

From the first notes of Reveille early in the morning to the final strain of Tattoo, bugle calls ordered garrison life of the 19th century. The times for assembling for meals, visiting the doctor, caring for horses, and parading on the grounds were all conveyed in this manner. Instilling a spirit of patriotism, comradery, and discipline, daily bugle calls have been an iconic military tradtion from pre-Revolutionary War through the present day.

This is a typical schedule of bugle calls as used at U.S. Army frontier forts in the mid 19th century.

Last updated: May 13, 2022