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5 November 2000
I would like to say that I am sorry to everyone for sharing the story on
TAPS...I am now forwarding the correct story and I hope that everyone
will help me get past this mistake...I must learn not to share something
that I have not researched myself...and I'll never do it again...LINDA
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From: Mark E Dunning <medunning(a)juno.com>
Subject: [KYGALLAT-L] The Origin of Taps
X-Mailing-List: <KYGALLAT-L(a)rootsweb.com> archive/latest/432
"Taps" is an American call, composed by the Union Army's Brig.
Gen. Daniel Butterfield while in camp at Harrison's Landing,
Virginia, in 1862. Butterfield wrote the call to replace the
earlier "Tattoo" (lights out), which he thought too formal. The
call soon became known as "Taps" because it was often tapped out
on a drum in the absence of a bugler. Before the year was out,
sounding Taps became the practice in both Northern and Southern
camps. The call was officially adopted by the U.S. Army in 1874.
Col. James A. Moss, in his Officer's Manual first published in
1911, gives this account of the initial use of Taps at a military
"During the Peninsular Campaign in 1862, a soldier of Tidball's
Battery A of the 2nd Artillery was buried at a time when the
battery occupied an advanced position concealed in the woods. It
was unsafe to fire the customary three volleys over the grave, on
account of the proximity of the enemy, and it occurred to Capt.
Tidball that the sounding of Taps would be the most appropriate
ceremony that could be substituted. The custom, thus originated,
was taken up throughout the Army of the Potomac and finally
confirmed by orders."
Composed By Major General Daniel Butterfield
Army of the Potomac, Civil War
"Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh -- Falls the night.
"Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well,
safely rest, God is nigh.
"Then good night, peaceful night,
Till the light of the dawn shineth bright,
God is near, do not fear -- Friend, good night."
"TAPS is the most beautiful bugle call. Played slowly and softly,
it has a smooth, tender and touching character. The bugle call was
written during the Peninsula Campaign of the Civil War by General
Butterfield, with an assist from his bugler, Oliver W. Norton, in
"TAPS" went on from its origin as an alternative to "Lights Out" to
become not only a signal that day was done, but also to say goodbye
to a fallen comrade.
"TAPS" is customarily played at funerals at Arlington national
Cemetery as well as at ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknowns there.
Its composer is buried in the Post Cemetery at the United States
Military Academy at West Point (even though he did not graduate from
Mark E. Dunning, TSgt, USAF
My DUNNING & SWANGO web sites:
My SWITZERLAND COUNTY, INDIANA Database:
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