Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the American 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 the 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 Confederate Army.
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:
Day is done. Fading light. Thanks and praise.
Gone the sun. Dims the sight. For our days.
From the lakes And a star. Neath the sun
From the hills. Gems the sky. Neath the stars.
From the sky. Gleaming bright Neath the sky
All is well. From afar. As we go.
Safely rest.. Drawing nigh. This we know.
God is nigh. Falls the night. God is nigh
I have felt the chills while listening to 'Taps' but I never knew there where words never mind 3 verses. I was also unaware of the story behind the playing of the tune or the significance of the lone trumpet. I thought that this may just interest some of you as it has me so I have decided to post on the
I now have a deeper respect for the song than I did in the past and it makes me think of all those brave men and women, no matter what armies they may have served for that paid the ultimate sacrifice or what they believed in.
This Blog is dedicated to the memory of MR. Mike Bell who passed away recently but will always be in the hearts of his family and friends.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.