A Moment of Reflection: The Origin of "Taps"
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Thread: A Moment of Reflection: The Origin of "Taps"

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up A Moment of Reflection: The Origin of "Taps"

    I'm not ashamed to say that the playing of Taps always leaves me misty eyed. I came across this yesterday and thought I'd share it with all of you.

    If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps was 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 the 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 humble beginnings.
    Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Elli 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 Elli 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.
    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 While Serving Their Country.
    Also Remember Those Who Have Served And Returned; and for those presently serving in the Armed Forces.
    Please send this on for our soldiers ... please don't break it.
    I didn't!
    "Lord I'm not askin' to go right now but, if you call me now, I pray my remains may be found in a pile of hot brass surrounded by my dead enemies!"

    "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."

    Retired Military: 1963-1967 U.S. Navy 1971-1987 U.S. Air Force

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    Dave, Gave it a 'like' because I feel the same about Taps. But, I've heard the Captain Ellicombe story is a myth.
    Last edited by spud_.308; 03-09-2017 at 11:27 PM.
    NWDave and USMC Snakedriver like this.
    They didn't make obummer king of the new world order, cuz he didn't disarm America
    "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
    Pennsylvania Constitution; article 1 section 21
    Be Blessed, spud.308

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    Quote Originally Posted by spud_.308 View Post
    Dave, Gave it a 'like' because I feel the same about Taps. But, I've heard the Captain Ellicombe story is a myth.
    Myth or not, still works for me. I believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and there are no atheists in foxholes. If the source of the "myth" statement is snopes, then I don't believe them at all. They have no credibility. They are a self serving liberal wing of the democrat party.

    Wikipedia rates this one amongst the legends of "Taps". The words however, remain true.
    Last edited by NWDave; 03-09-2017 at 11:55 PM.
    "Lord I'm not askin' to go right now but, if you call me now, I pray my remains may be found in a pile of hot brass surrounded by my dead enemies!"

    "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."

    Retired Military: 1963-1967 U.S. Navy 1971-1987 U.S. Air Force

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    I have to agree with Spud. It IS a great story, although the coincidence of events occurring as offered are astronomical. But, if the myth offers comfort to anyone, then we should leave it as is.
    spud_.308 and NWDave like this.

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    The Taps Myth « Taps Bugler: Jari Villanueva Jari seems a pretty reputable ceremonial bugler.
    They didn't make obummer king of the new world order, cuz he didn't disarm America
    "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
    Pennsylvania Constitution; article 1 section 21
    Be Blessed, spud.308

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    Union General Dan Butterfield is credited with the current form of Taps. Came from an earlier tune used by the US Army from 1835 to 1860; "Scott Tattoo". Both sides used it in the Civil War.
    .
    At school we had tattoo first at night to warn us it was about to be lights out and then we had Taps to put us to bed.

    It pulls at the soul.



 

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