|Why "TAPS" is
If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps were
played; this brings out a new meaning of it. Here is something Every
American should know.. Until I read this, I didn't know, but I checked
it out and it's true. We in the United States have all heard the haunting
song, "Taps". It's the song that gives us that lump in
our throats and usually tears in our eyes. But, do you know the story behind
the song? If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its
Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army
Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The
Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During
the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded
on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the
Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical
attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached
the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment. When
t he Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a
Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.
The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb
with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was
his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the
war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the
The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his
superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request
was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group
of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral. The
request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.But, out
of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.
The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series
of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead
youth's uniform. This wish was granted.
The haunting melody, we now know as "Taps" used at military
funerals was born.
The words are: Click here for more details: www.tapsbugler.com
Day is done ... Gone the sun...
From the lakes From the hills...
From the sky ... All is well .
Safely rest ... God is nigh.
Fading light .. Dims the sight .
And a star ... Gems the sky Gleaming bright
From afar . Drawing nigh . Falls the night.
Thanks and praise . For our days ..
Neath the sun ... Neath the stars... Neath the sky .
As we go . This we know . God is nigh.
I, too, have felt the chills while listening to "Taps" but I
have never seen all the words to the song until now. I didn't
even know there was more than one verse. I also never knew the story
behind the song and I didn't know if you had either so I thought I'd pass
it along. I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before. Remember
Those Lost and Harmed Whi le Serving Their Country. And also those
presently serving in the Armed Forces.
Please say a short prayer for our soldiers and pass on to others to
do the same.
I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and
to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.
Origins: From Urban Legends Reference Pages: www.snopes.com/music/songs/taps.htm
It's hard to feel surprised when a melody as hauntingly beautiful as Taps picks
up a legend about how it came to be written -- it's too mournfully direct a piece
for the mere truth to suffice.
Taps was composed in July 1862 at Harrison's Landing in Virginia, but after
that the fanciful e-mail quoted above Day is done parts way with reality. There
was no dead son, Confederate or otherwise; no lone bugler sounding out the dead
boy's last composition. How the call came into being was never anything more
than one influential soldier deciding his unit could use a bugle call for particular
occasions and setting about to come up with one.
If anyone can be said to have composed 'Taps,' it was Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield,
Commander of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Army Corps, Army of the Potomac,
during the American Civil War. Dissatisfied with the customary firing of three
rifle volleys at the conclusion of burials during battle and also needing a method
of ceremonially imparting meaning to the end of a soldier's day, he likely altered
an older piece known as "Tattoo," a French bugle call used to signal "lights
out," into the call we now know as 'Taps.' (Alternatively, he wrote the
whole thing from scratch, a possibility not at all supported by his lack of musical
background and ability.)
Whether he wrote it straight from the cuff or improvised something new by
rearranging an older work, Butterfield brought 'Taps' into being. With the help
of his bugler, Oliver W. Norton of Chicago, the concept was transformed into
its present form. "Taps" was quickly taken up by both sides of the
conflict, and within months was being sounded by buglers in both Union and Confederate
Then as now, 'Taps' serves as a vital component in ceremonies honoring military
dead. It is also understood by American servicemen as an end-of-day 'lights out'
When "Taps" is played at a military funeral, it is customary to
salute if in uniform, or place your hand over your heart if not.