Ten Years in the Ranks
U.S. Army


Augustus Meyers, 1914

Augustus Meyers, ca. 1856

Augustus Meyers was a typical immigrant boy living in New York City, when he enlisted in the Army in 1854 as a fifer.  Meyers would then be sent to Governors Island to the Army "School of Practice" for incoming field musicians.  You can read more about some history of Governors Island here.  In 1914 Meyers would write about his experiences at Governors Island in PART I of his book, "Ten Years in the Ranks U.S. Army."  We have PART I below, so you can flip through it or read it on-line. (To read it on a desktop or tablet press the click to read box. In a phone, click on a page and press on the expansion icon which appears.) We encourage you to read the entire book to learn what life was like as a young musician in the U.S. Army on the western frontier (before the Civil War), as well as life for a Regular Army soldier during the Civil War.