Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Story of Taps

There was a printed handout available at the Jean H Joyal ceremony on 6/6/09 with the story of the origination of Taps. While the printout was a compelling read, according to the West Point web site, the more accurate version of the story can be found here.

It must be pointed out that other stories of the origin of Taps exist. A popular one is that of a Northern boy who was killed fighting for the south. His father, Robert Ellicombe a Captain in the Union Army, came upon his son's body on the battlefield and found the notes to Taps in a pocket of the dead boy's Confederate uniform. When Union General Daniel Sickles heard the story, he had the notes sounded at the boy's funeral. There is no evidence to back up the story or the existence of Captain Ellicombe. As with many other customs, this solemn tradition continues today. Although Butterfield merely revised an earlier bugle call, his role in producing those 24 notes gives him a place in the history of music as well as the history of war.
Read the full story of the origin of Taps here.

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