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Origin of Taps Theme
Origin of Taps Theme
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. It was a Confederate soldier and he was dead. The Captain lit a lantern, caught his breath and with numb and with shock in the dim light, saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music n 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 FL military burial, despite his enemy status. The request was only partially granted. The Captain has asked if he could have a group of Army band members plan a funeral dirge for this son--this request was turned down but out of respect for the father he was granted one musician. The Captain chose a bugler and asked him to play a series of music notes he had found on a piece of paper in his son's uniform pocket. 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. . .