James Monroe Deems

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James Monroe Deems (1818–1901) was an American composer and music educator from Baltimore, Maryland, as well as a distinguished Union Army officer during the American Civil War. He served as lieutenant colonel of the 1st Maryland Cavalry. On July 26, 1866 President Andrew Johnson nominated Deems for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on July 27, 1866.[1]

Deems is remembered for his composition, Nebuchadnezzar, which was the first American oratorio, his Capt. Watros Quickstep appears in the Manchester Cornet Band (4th NH Vol Infantry) Books, Set 1.

His most important legacy was his 1850 book, Vocal Music Simplified, which was one of the earliest public-school music texts in the U.S.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1. p. 744.
  2. ^ Keene, James A. (2010). A History of Music Education in the United States. Glenbridge Publishing. p. 105. ISBN 978-0944435663.

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