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Date Posted: 10:56:56 11/22/05 Tue
Author: PVT BURRAGE
Subject: Taps (For Veterans Day) (fwd from Mrs Burrage)

I got this from my wife:

Taps (For Veterans Day)

Story Date: 11/11/2005

We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, "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 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
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. 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.

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