Thanks a lot for the information. I shall never
forget a funeral for a young Viet-Nam soldier. The haunting melody and then the
gun salute that seem to go right through me. I don't know how the mother (a dear
friend) stood it. It is sad that nayone has to go through that. I am truly
blessed and will say a prayer for all the families now in service.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 9:15
We all have heard the haunting melody of "Taps."
It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats and
usually tears in our
eyes. I have had that lump in my throat and
tears in my eyes hundreds of
times. But do you know the story behind
the song? If not, I think you will
be pleased to find out about its
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
attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the
reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward the
When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it
actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The Captain
lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock.
the dim light he saw the face of the soldier. It was his
The boy had been studying music in the South when the war
broke out. Without
telling his father, the boy enlisted in the
The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked
permission to give his
son a full military burial despite his enemy
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
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
This wish was granted.
The haunting melody, which we now know as
"Taps" used at military funerals,
Day is done
From the lakes
From the hills
From the sky
God is nigh.
And a star
Gems the sky,
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise,
Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.