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The Story Behind Taps . . .

We have all heard the haunting melody of "Taps."  It's the
song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually
tears in our eyes.  But do you know the story behind the

If not, I think you will be pleased to find out about its
humble beginnings.
Kansas City
Alexander Majors Chapter

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,
                     Gleaning 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.                                              
Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when
Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near
Harrison's Landing, Virginia. The Confederate Army was on
the other side of the narrow strip of land.

During the night, Captain Ellisombe heard the moans of a
soldier who was 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
the 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

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 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
denied since the soldier was a Confederate.  But, out of
respect for the father, they did say they could give him one

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

The haunting melody, which we now know as "Taps" used at
military funerals, was born.