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Day is done,
Gone the sun,
From the lakes,
From the hills,
From the sky,
All is well,
God is nigh.
Go to sleep,
May the soldier,
On the land,
Or the deep,
Safe in sleep.
Love, good night.
Must thou go?
When the day
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
To their rest.
Fades the light,
and the stars
Fare thee well,
Day has gone,
Night is on.
Dims the sight,
And a star
Gems the sky,
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.
Darrell Kenneth Glenn
Wayne E. Glenn
Gary L. Havard
BG Henry Williams "Hank" Hise
LTG James F. Hollingsworth
John D. McCubbin
Charles T. McDowell
Larry D. Smith
James E. Wright
The Sounding of Taps
Of all of the military bugle calls, none is so recognizable
as Taps. The melody is eloquent and haunting. It's origin
though, is clouded in myth and controversy.
The best known of these myths is about a Northern boy who
was killed figthing for the South during the Civil War.
It 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. 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. The haunting melody,
we now know as"Taps", used at military funerals,
True Origin of "Taps"
Provided by Arrlington National Cemetary;
During the Civil War, in July 1862 when the Army of the Potomac
was in camp, Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield summoned Pvt. Oliver
Wilcox Norton, his brigade bugler, to his tent. Butterfield,
who disliked the colorless "extinguish lights" call
then in use, whistled a new tune and asked the bugler to sound
it for him. After repeated trials and changing the time of
some notes which were scribbled on the back of an envelope,
the call was finally arranged to suit Gen. Butterfield and
used for the first time that night. Pvt. Norton, who on several
occasions, had sounded numerous new calls composed by his
commander, recalled his experience of the origin of "Taps"
"One day in July 1862 when the Army of the Potomac was
in camp at Harrison's Landing on the James River, Virginia,
resting and recruiting from its losses in the seven days of
battle before Richmond, Gen. Butterfield summoned the writer
to his tent, and whistling some new tune, asked the bugler
to sound it for him. This was done, not quite to his satisfaction
at first, but after repeated trials, changing the time of
some of the notes, which were scribbled on the back of an
envelope, the call was finally arranged to suit the general.
"He then ordered that it should be substituted in his
brigade for the regulation "Taps" (extinguish lights)
which was printed in the Tactics and used by the whole army.
This was done for the first time that night. The next day
buglers from nearby brigades came over to the camp of Butterfield's
brigade to ask the meaning of this new call. They liked it,
and copying the music, returned to their camps, but it was
not until some time later, when generals of other commands
had heard its melodious notes, that orders were issued, or
permission given, to substitute it throughout the Army of
the Potomac for the time-honored call which came down from
In the western armies the regulation call was in use until
the autumn of 1863. At that time the XI and XII Corps were
detached from the Army of the Potomac and sent under command
of Gen. Hooker to reinforce the Union Army at Chattanooga,
Tenn. Through its use in these corps it became known in the
western armies and was adopted by them. From that time, it
became and remains to this day the official call for "Taps."
It is printed in the present Tactics and is used throughout
the U.S. Army, the National Guard, and all organizations of
Gen. Butterfield, in composing this call and directing that
it be used for "Taps" in his brigade, could not
have foreseen its popularity and the use for another purpose
into which it would grow. Today, whenever a man is buried
with military honors anywhere in the United States, the ceremony
is concluded by firing three volleys of musketry over the
grave, and sounding with the trumpet or bugle "Put out
the lights. Go to sleep"...There is something singularly
beautiful and appropriate in the music of this wonderful call.
Its strains are melancholy, yet full of rest and peace. Its
echoes linger in the heart long after its tones have ceased
to vibrate in the air."
An excellent website for more information about the origin
of Taps is www.tapsbugler.com
by Jari A. Villanueva, a bugler and a historian. He has been
a member of the the U.S. Air Force Band for over 15 years
and is considered the country's foremost authority on the
bugle call of Taps.