There were three National Boy Scout Jamborees held at Valley Forge: 1950, 1957, and 1964. Boy Scouts had actually been camping in the Park since about 1910-1913. The 1950 Jamboree was the first to be held for the BSA since 1937. It was actually held from June 30-July 6 with over 45,000 in attendance. They encamped on the actual parade grounds and former sites of the 18th century brigades of the former Valley Forge encampment. President Truman and General Eisenhower both spoke during that week at Valley Forge: it was the same week that the North Korean forces crossed the 38th parallel....Truman spoke of advocating fellowship and human brotherhood while Eisenhower damned the invasion and hinted at U.S. intervention. The second Jamboree in 1957 was held in the second term of President Eisenhower, but he was unable to attend and sent his vice-president in his stead: Richard Nixon. Reports show that the BSA president announced him as the President of the U.S.A!
"Taps" is a 24-note bugle call.It is played by the military at burial and memorial services, when the U.S. flag is lowered, and to signal the "Lights Out" command at the end of the day. While the tune for "Taps" is sad it also suggests a sense of rest and peace. The origin of "Taps" can be traced back to the Civil War (1861-65).
Up to the time of the Civil War, a bugler or drummer would signal the end of the day by playing of a tune called "Lights Out". This tune was borrowed from the French tune also called "Lights Out" ("L'Extinction des feux"), which was used for the same purpose.
In June 1862, Union General Daniel Adams Butterfield (Third Brigade, First Division, Fifth Army Corps, Army of the Potomac) lost 600 men and was wounded during the Seven Days battles in Virginia. In the aftermath of the battles, Butterfield wanted to honor his men but felt that "Lights Out" was not appropriate. So he called his bugler, Private Oliver Wilcox Norton, to his tent. Butterfield had written a tune on the back of an envelope and asked Norton to play it. After several revisions, Norton was ordered to play the piece that night and at the end of each day instead of the regulation call.
Buglers from nearby camps heard the new call and liked it. The tune spread and was made the official Army bugle call after the Civil War. It took the name "Taps" in 1874.
The first time "Taps" was played at a military funeral may have been in Virginia soon after Butterfield composed it. Union Captain John Tidball, head of an artillery battery, ordered it to be played for the burial of a cannoneer killed in action. The Captain did not want to reveal his battery's position to the enemy so he substituted "Taps" for the traditional three rifle shots over the grave. "Taps" was also adopted by the Confederate Army as well. In fact, it was played at the funeral of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. In 1891, Army infantry regulations required "taps" to be played at military funeral ceremonies.
This audio version of "Taps" was obtained from the United States Air Force (USAF) Heritage of America Band. Visit the USAF Heritage of America Band's official Web site for other patriotic songs.
A service of the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office.
Last updated: February 1, 2007
Page Name: http://bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/symbols/taps.html
MUCH MORE to FOLLOW !! CLICK in OFTEN !!
Sent: Saturday, February 08, 2003 12:38 PM
Still another version of "TAPS"
We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, "Taps." It's the song that gives us that 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 it's humble beginnings. Reportedly, 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 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 Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on this 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 and suddenly caught his breath
and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of a 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 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. But, out 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 the dead youth's uniform. This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we now know as "TAPS",
used at military funerals was born.
I have never seen all the words to the song until now. I didn't even
know there was more.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
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