Military Heritage “Taps” Essay

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Military Heritage Essay A family cries as the bugle sounds taps, a solemn tune, played over a military funeral. How many of us have ever considered the history behind the sounding of taps? When we understand and honor our traditions, we achieve a sense of heritage and belonging. This essay, will discuss the history and importance for the playing of taps. History During the American Civil War, while recuperating after a hard battle, General Daniel Butterfield ordered the playing of a new melody in the place of lights out. Although, adopted by the Union Army to mark the end of the day, it also marked the end of life. Taps is probably the most famous bugle call of all times, its origins are straight from the battlefield and is a tribute…show more content…
Bugler Private Oliver Wilcox Norton first sounded the notes of taps in 1862 (Schneider, 2002). Only moments before the call for lights out, Butterfield presented Wilcox the notes for his new melody. With little practice, Wilcox stood above the camp and began to play Butterfields version of taps. Adaptation This beautiful melody quickly spread throughout the Union Army. Often, southern troops were so close they could hear the trumpet and soon adapted Butterfields taps. During the Civil War, this melody first replaced three canon volleys to honor a soldier’s burial. Canons exhaust a large plume of smoke when fired. Troops that do not want to expose their position adapted taps in place of canon volleys. Meaning Battle is an exhausting effort. Often, uncertainty clutters the minds of soldiers in time of chaos. A soothing melody played over a battle fatigued camp offers comfort. Day is done, gone the sun, words taken from the lyrics to taps, reminds us how we have survived the hardships of the day. All is well, safely rest; God is nigh, assures us that it is safe to rest and we can be comforted that our God is near. Taps, born on a battlefield in the darkest days of American history, has similar meaning to all that have endured combat and uncertainty of their living to see the next day. Those that remember the history of taps and its meaning also understand its importance.

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