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THE STORY BEHIND "TAPS"

11 years 3 weeks ago #1 by BOSTON

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  • While doing a search on cannister found what I thought was an interesting story, being a vet it touched me.



    THE STORY BEHIND "TAPS"

    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 moan of a soldier
    who lay mortally 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. Suddenly, he 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, he 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 partially granted. The captain had asked if he could
    have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for the son
    at the funeral. That request was turned down since the soldier was a
    Confederate. 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 his
    dead son's uniform.

    This wish was granted. This music was the haunting melody we now
    know as "Taps" that is used at all military funerals.

    **********************************************
    In case you are interested, these are the words to "TAPS":


    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.

    HOISTINGMAN4

    Drafted in Boston

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    11 years 3 weeks ago - 11 years 3 weeks ago #2 by Kerflumoxed

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  • It's a great story....Bob! Unfortunately, it is also untrue.

    Here is a site that repeats the same story but adds a footnote contesting its authenticity. As they say on the news, "We report, you decide."

    www.snopes.com/music/songs/taps.asp

    J ;)

    Jack Hanger
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    [/size]
    "Boys, if we have to stand in a straight line as stationary targets for the Yankees to shoot at, this old Texas Brigade is going to run like hell!" J. B. Poley, 4th Texas Infantry, Hood's Texas Brigade
    Last edit: 11 years 3 weeks ago by Kerflumoxed.

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    11 years 3 weeks ago #3 by BOSTON

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  • Replied by BOSTON on topic Re:THE STORY BEHIND
    Kerflumoxed wrote:

    It's a great story....Bob! Unfortunately, it is also untrue.

    Here is a site that repeats the same story but adds a footnote contesting its authenticity. As they say on the news, "We report, you decide."

    www.snopes.com/music/songs/taps.asp

    J ;)


    True or not, it brought to my heart and mind sentiments I have not felt in a long time. As always, you are very thorough.

    BOSTON :)

    HOISTINGMAN4

    Drafted in Boston

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    11 years 3 weeks ago #4 by norb-1

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  • Replied by norb-1 on topic Re:THE STORY BEHIND
    I choose to believe the story, just because it's a great story :) Damn snopes! Next they are going to tell us that Mikey didn't die from Coke & pop rocks!

    NSD Programmer/Producer
    "Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” - Gamaliel 40 A.D.

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    11 years 3 weeks ago #5 by Kerflumoxed

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  • As so often happens, many of the "great war stories" that originate in the CW are less than factual. On the other hand, there are many more that are just as inspiring and have been authenticated...and there are a myriad of books on the market that include many of the inspiring and just plain funny stories.

    One is the story of E.F. Jemison. With few exceptions, most people with an interest in the CW will recognize his photo.

    archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/05-96/05-28-96/a03wn019.htm

    This young Confederate was 17 when he was killed at Malvern Hill as the Rebels charged the Federal artillery. Many years after the war, a veteran who served literally alongside young Jemison was recounting the charge up the hill to another veteran how the boy had lost his life...he was decapitated by a cannon shot. The veteran was marching in the traditional formation of elbow to elbow and was covered with the blood of Jemison. As he was telling his story, an interested passer-by paused and listened while the two veterans spoke. After a few minutes, the newcomer stepped forward and thanked the veteran for the story. He said he was a relative of Jemison and had always wondered exactly what happened. (This is recorded in the original Confederate Magazine.)

    As an aside, when I worked on the movie "Glory", we participated in the opening scene that depicts a charge at Sharpsburg. During the charge, if you watch carefully, you can see a similar decapitation, perhaps based upon the Malvern Hill story.

    J

    Jack Hanger
    Fremont, NE
    [/size]
    "Boys, if we have to stand in a straight line as stationary targets for the Yankees to shoot at, this old Texas Brigade is going to run like hell!" J. B. Poley, 4th Texas Infantry, Hood's Texas Brigade

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    11 years 3 weeks ago #6 by Armchair General

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  • Kerflumoxed wrote:

    As so often happens, many of the "great war stories" that originate in the CW are less than factual. On the other hand, there are many more that are just as inspiring and have been authenticated...and there are a myriad of books on the market that include many of the inspiring and just plain funny stories.

    One is the story of E.F. Jemison. With few exceptions, most people with an interest in the CW will recognize his photo.

    archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/05-96/05-28-96/a03wn019.htm

    This young Confederate was 17 when he was killed at Malvern Hill as the Rebels charged the Federal artillery. Many years after the war, a veteran who served literally alongside young Jemison was recounting the charge up the hill to another veteran how the boy had lost his life...he was decapitated by a cannon shot. The veteran was marching in the traditional formation of elbow to elbow and was covered with the blood of Jemison. As he was telling his story, an interested passer-by paused and listened while the two veterans spoke. After a few minutes, the newcomer stepped forward and thanked the veteran for the story. He said he was a relative of Jemison and had always wondered exactly what happened. (This is recorded in the original Confederate Magazine.)

    As an aside, when I worked on the movie "Glory", we participated in the opening scene that depicts a charge at Sharpsburg. During the charge, if you watch carefully, you can see a similar decapitation, perhaps based upon the Malvern Hill story.

    J


    Watch closely? I thought it was quite apparent. "For God's sake, c'mon!" Boom. :cheer:

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

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