"Taps" The rest of the story..

"Taps" Is the song, played so soulfully, that rarely fails to bring a lump our throat or tear to our eye. But do you know the story behind the song? If you've ever been to a military funeral and the band played "Taps", the following story may bring new understanding of the long recognized somber tune. I believe you will be interested to find out about the humble beginnings of this well-known military tune.

Reportedly, it all began in during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Elli, staged for engagement with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia, opposite the Confederate Army just on the other side of a narrow strip of land.

During the night, Captain Elli heard the moans of a soldier, one suffering his wounds on the battlefield. Not knowing if Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain was compelled to help the stricken soldier, and bring him back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through perilous gunfire, the Captain reached the side of the soldier in the darkness and began pulling him toward his encampment. The Captain finally reached his own lines, to discover the stricken man was actually a Confederate soldier, yet by then the soldier was dead.

The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath, almost becoming numb with shock. Even in the dim light, he recognized the soldier, and the familiar face of his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South, when the war broke out, and without telling his father, had enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission to allow he give his son a military burial, despite his enemy status. The Captain asked if Army band members could play a dirge for his son at the funeral. His request was begrudgingly granted. Yet, out of respect for the father, one musician would be allowed. The Captain chose a bugler and asked that he play from the musical notes he'd found on a piece of paper in the pocket of his soldier son's uniform.

This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we know as 'Taps' 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.

The story behind the song, seems to deliver an even deeper feeling of respect for the song than before.

Remember Those Lost or Harmed While Serving Their Country.

Remember All Those Who Have Served And Returned; and for those presently serving in the Armed Forces.

(This is but one of many popular versions of the "Tale of the origin of Taps".)

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