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History for Yankee Rebels Baltimore, MD
Inactive Senior Corps founded in 1935 Did you march Yankee Rebels?
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In late 1945, Joe Sedlack formed the Hamilton American Legion Post 20 Senior Drum and Bugle Corps from returning veterans of World War II. Most of these veterans had marched with the Hamilton Squadron and other junior corps of Baltimore and the surrounding region before trooping off to war.

The new corps participated in numerous parades in 1947 in their service uniforms, but later that same year they donned white and gold uniforms. The Eisenhower-jacketed corps had taken its first step toward becoming a legend. The "Boys in White,” in their first American Legion national contest, scored a 29.5 out of a possible 30.0 in the marching and maneuvering category.

The name "Yankee Rebels" was adopted in 1949, and the group carried the Confederate battle flag for the first time during a contest in West New York, New Jersey. This was the year of the first Dream Contest, held at the Newark Armory with three VFW and three American Legion senior corps competing. The Yankee Rebels finished in sixth place, although the point spread between the six corps was a mere 1.8 points.

In 1952, new cadet-style white and gold uniforms clothed the Yankee Rebels, as they traveled extensively throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, placing first in several circuit shows.

Following the 1953 season, Joe Sedlack and the staff of the Yankee Rebels began the organization of an invitational contest in Baltimore. The very successful “March of Champions” competition was held for 24 consecutive years, 1954 through 1976.

Other changes affected the Yankee Rebels organization during those years as well. In 1955, George Bull was elected director, and he oversaw a complete change of music and drill, including the blast of "Dixie" off the line, as well as music from the musical "Oklahoma.“ The corps underwent constant rebuilding over the next several years.

In 1962 with a new instruction staff - Skip Groff for horns, Tom Garrahy for drill, John Flowers for percussion, and Bill Hooten as coordinator - the corps continued to win their share of contests. During 1967, Drum Corps Hall of Famer Truman Crawford, having transferred from the Air Force to the U.S. Marine Corps, became the new music director, and in 1969 Charlie Kammer presented the corps with a complete program of North/South Civil War tunes. This was to be the Yankee Rebels’ theme. The corps would attempt to perform a battle on the contest field with two armies playing North-South music.

It was said that it took 24 years for the Yankee Rebels to reach their summit. The group didn't win every contest, but they did take more than their share, and that included the 1969 American Legion Nationals in Atlanta. The crowd applauded for over ten minutes at the conclusion of that memorable show. The Yankee Rebels won not only the show but also the hearts of the drum corps world.

In addition to that 1969 capstone win, the corps competed in 11 DCA National Championships between 1965 through 1981. Their best finishes were consecutive second places in 1970 and 1971.

For more than 30 years, the on-field performances of the Yankee Rebels reflected the effort, work, sacrifice, disappointment, achievement, and glory of every member who ever had the distinction of wearing the white and gold and, later, the orange and white. The original Yankee Rebels disbanded in 1977, but an active alumni corps took its place in 1988.


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