Through the years I have attempted to prove or disprove the legend. I was skeptical, because Michael was born 15 September 1853 in New Orleans to Michael and Catherine (Kemper) Cramer. As the Civil War broke out in April of 1861 and ended in May of 1865, Michael would have been only 8-12 years of age when the war was raging. Obviously he would not have been accepted into a regular regiment. He could, however, have been a member of a Fife and Drum Corps. But even that would be a stretch as the average age in the corps was 18.
Unfortunately members of the drum and fife groups were not normally documented, so I have been unable to locate a roster that lists my ancestor’s name. More telling, perhaps, is the fact that in the 1930 census under the box where the census-taker asked if you were a veteran of the U.S. military, “No” was marked by Michael’s name.
So where did the bugle and rifle come from? The only Civil War veteran I have been able to find definitive records on so far was Andrew Hungler, my dad’s 2nd great-grandfather. Perhaps they came from him. How sad that my dad did not have the opportunity to keep such important and historic family heirlooms.