We have all heard the haunting song, "Taps." It's the song that gives us
that lump in our throats and usually
creates tears in our eyes. But, do you
know the story behind the song?
If not, I think you will be pleased to
find out about it's humble
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 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.
Day is done
Gone the sun
From the Lakes
From the hills
From the sky.
All is well,
God is nigh.
Dims the sight
And a star
Gems the sky,
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 until now.