Ray Wells submitted this story. It’s origin lies in antiquity but it is of sufficient importance to include it with our articles….
THE ETIOLOGY OF TAPS
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 moan 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 fallen soldier and began pulling him towards 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.
Suddenly, he 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, heart-broken, the father asked
permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial despite his
His request was partially
granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members
play a funeral dirge for the son at the funeral. That request was turned down
since the soldier was a Confederate. 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 his dead son's uniform. This wish was granted. This music was
the haunting melody we now know as "Taps" used at all military
Day is done,
Gone the sun,
From the lakes,
From the hills,
From the sky.
All is well.
God is nigh.
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