Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.
Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
May the soldier or sailor,
On the land or the deep,
Safe in sleep.
Love, good night, Must thou go,
When the day, And the night
Need thee so?
All is well. Speedeth all
To their rest.
Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day, And the stars
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.
Thanks and praise, For our days,
'Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.
24 Notes That Tap Deep Emotions
By MSG Jari A. Villanueva, USAF
Of all the military bugle calls, none is so easily recognized
or more apt to render emotion than the call Taps. The melody
is both eloquent and haunting and the history of its origin is
interesting and somewhat clouded in controversy. In the
British Army, a similar call known as Last Post has been
sounded over soldiers'graves since 1885, but the use of Taps
is unique with the United States military, since the call is
sounded at funerals, wreath-laying and memorial services.
Up to the Civil War, the infantry call for Lights Out was that
set down in Silas Casey's (1801-1882) Tactics, which had been
borrowed from the French. The music for Taps was changed by
Union General Daniel Butterfield for his Brigade (Third
Brigade, First Division, Fifth Army Corps, Army of the
Potomac) in July of 1862.
Daniel Adams Butterfield (31 October 1831-17 July 1901) was
born in Utica, New York and graduated from Union College at
Schenectady. He was the eastern superintendent of the American
Express Company in New York when the Civil War broke out.
Despite his lack of military experience, he rose quickly in
rank. A Colonel in the 12th Regiment of the New York State
Militia, he was promoted to Brigadier General and given
command of a brigade of the V Corps of the Army of the
Potomac. The 12th served in the Shenandoah Valley during the
the Bull Run Campaign. During the Peninsular campaign
Butterfield served prominently when during the Battle of
Gaines Mill, despite an injury, he seized the colors of the
3rd Pennsylvania and rallied the regiment at a critical time
in the battle. Years later, he was awarded the Medal of Honor
for that act of heroism.
As the story goes, General Butterfield was not pleased with
the call for Lights Out, feeling that the call was too formal
to signal the days end. With the help of the brigade bugler,
Oliver Wilcox Norton, Butterfield wrote Taps to honor his men
while in camp at Harrison's Landing, Virginia, following the
Seven Day's battle. These battles took place during the
Peninsular Campaign of 1862. The call, sounded that night in
July, 1862, soon spread to other units of the Union Army and
was even used by the Confederates. Taps was made an official
bugle call after the war.
The highly romantic account of how Butterfield composed the
call surfaced in 1898 following a magazine article written
that summer. The August, 1898 issue of Century Magazine
contained an article called The Trumpet in Camp and Battle, by
Gustav Kobbe, a music historian and critic. He was writing
about the origin of bugle calls in the Civil War and in
reference to Taps, wrote:
In speaking of our trumpet calls I purposely omitted one with
which it seemed most appropriate to close this article, for it
is the call which closes the soldier's day. . . . Lights Out.
I have not been able to trace this call to any other service.
If it seems probable, it was original with Major Seymour, he
has given our army the most beautiful of all trumpet-calls.
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