The Last Post

Category: Entertainment

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Here is something Every person should know. Until I read this, I didn't know,  


We in the west have all heard this haunting song, The Last Post, known in the US South as 'Taps.' It's a song that gives one 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 American Civil War, A 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 Union 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 pulled him toward his encampment. 


When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually an enemy, 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 Army man. 


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 his dead son’s uniform.    This wish was granted. 


The haunting melody, we now know as “ The Last Post” or 'Taps' used at military funerals was born. Lyrics has also been given to the melody by the young youth THEY ARE AS FOLLOWS


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 this melody but I had never seen all the words to the song until now.   I didn't know either 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. Also Remember Those Who Have Served & Returned, and those Presently Serving in the Armed Forces.

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