Historic Footage of Confederate Soldiers Performing the ‘Rebel Yell’

October 4, 2016 5:00 am

If you’re like most people, “rebel yell” means one thing and one thing only: the 1983 hit song by new-waver Billy Idol, in which some femme fatale passionately cries “more, more, more.”

But it turns out that Idol lifted the term from American history.

The rebel yell actually refers to a battle cry used by Confederate soldiers during the bloody conflict in the 1860s. It was meant to strike fear in Union soldiers, and as you’ll hear from the clip below, it’s pretty damned haunting. The Library of Congress produced the video back in 1930, and features former Confederate soldiers, at that point in their 70s and 80s, performing the rebel yell.

Watch and listen to the results below.

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