Story of  Taps

From: "Bruce K. Melson" <>

From: "Joe Prince" <>

 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 any of 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.

 The Haunting Song, "Taps"

 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 delighted
to find out about it's humble beginnings.
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 mortally 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, he 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
safely rest
God is neigh.

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.