Last Post

April 24th, 2016 by Ah Doe

It’s known as Taps in the United States.

The story behind the “Last Post”. Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the American Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison’s Landing in Virginia. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. The Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his 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. 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 Captain asked for permission to bury his son with full military honors but was refused because the soldier was a Confederate. He then asked for a military band to play at his son’s funeral but again was denied. Out of respect for the Captain Command allowed him one musician. He 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. The haunting melody, we now know as ‘The Last Post’ used at military funerals was born.

“I confess, without shame, that I am sick and tired of fighting — its glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families, appealing to me for sons, husbands, and fathers, it is only those who have never heard a shot, never heard the shriek and groans of the wounded and lacerated that cry aloud for more blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is Hell.”

by General William Tecumsen Sherman, Union Army Commander

On Anzac Day 2016
Red Poppies Anzac Day

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