The meaning of "TAPS"

If any of you have ever been to a military
funeral in which taps was played;
this brings out a new meaning of it.

Here is something Every American should know.
Until I read this, I didn’t know, but I checked it out and it’s true: 

We in the  United States  have all heard the haunting song, ‘Taps.’
It’s the song that gives us the 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.

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.

I too have felt the chills while listening to ‘Taps’ but I have never seen all the words to the song until now.  
I didn’t even know there was more than one verse . 
 I also never knew the story behind the song and I didn’t know if you had either so I thought I’d pass it along. 

  I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before. 

  Remember Those Lost and Harmed While Serving Their Country.


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

8 Comments on “The meaning of "TAPS"

  1. Thank you for sharing this story with us. I heard this story before,, there is a man who makes sure that every soldier has the right to have this song played at their funeral. He uses his own money and hires out a soldier who can actually play the song on the bu gal, making sure that a tape is not played but a real man plays it. What a wonderful tribute to our soldiers! Hugs Mike, hope you had a wonderful weekend.

  2. Mari,Tracy,and Anon Drifter,I knew that Taps,was started during the Civil War,I even knew part of the song from being in the boy scouts.

  3. I've listened to tap way too often. They are haunting to say the least. They are such a great honor as well.Thanks for such a great post Mike. I thank every man and woman that has served and who are presently serving this great nation.Have a terrific day Mike. Big hug. 🙂

  4. Akelamalu,I'm glad you enjoyed this one.Sandee,I'm with you on this one,except to add 2 more groups of Heroes Police and Fireman,They oput their lives on the line for us as well.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: