It’s a simple and yet heart-rending melody.
It is only 24 notes long.
It always puts a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.
It will also cause me to weep unashamed.
Most people have heard “Taps
”, even if they don’t recall the name.
Most people, also, know no history of the famous song.
As the battery was in a forward wooded area close to the Confederate lines, the traditional three-shot volley was unsafe as it would have given the enemy a good idea of where the battery was located.
Captain Tidball ordered “Taps” to be used as a safe salute to a fallen comrade.
The Confederates also used “Taps.” Approximately ten months after it was written, “Taps” was also sounded over the grave of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.
Starting in 1891, Army Infantry Regulations required “Taps” to be sounded at all military funerals.