"It all began in 1862, during the Civil War, when a Union Army Captain (Robert Ellicombe) was with his men near Harrison's Landing, in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moan of a who lay mortally 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 his stomach through gun fire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment. When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered that it was actually a Confederate soldier, but was dead.Following is a selection of bugle calls that may be played during a typical solder's day in a military barracks ( With permission from Frederick Military Academy Alumni's Bugle Calls Page.)
The Captain lit a lantern. Suddenly he caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light - he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South and when the war broke out, he enlisted in the Confederate Army without telling his father.
The following morning, the heartbroken father asked for permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain asked if he could have the army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the services. The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. Out of respect for his father, they did give permission for the use of 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 his son's uniform.
The wish was granted. The music was the haunting bugle melody we now know as "Taps" which is played at all military funerals."
Written by Historian Elizabeth May,
first published in the American Legion's Posts Newsletter.
Also in Reserve Officers Association "THE OFFICER" Magazine, May 98 issue.
|First call||Also known as Assembly of the Buglers, was used to call the buglers for Reveille and was the wake up call for the troops.||The Reveille||Sounded for troops to make the morning roll call.|
|The Assembly||Sounded for cadets to be in ranks on parade field for morning roll call and the raising of the flag.|
|To The Color||Sounded when raising the Standard. The Navy refers to this call as "Morning Colors".|
|The Mess Call||Sounded for the assembly of the troops for meals.|
|To Stable||Cavalry troops report to the stables to feed and groom their mounts.|
|Water Call||Horses receive water or detail to replenish camp's water supply.|
|Sick Call||Assembly of the sick for treatment.|
|Fatigue||Signals troops to police grounds, clean quarters or report to other work assignments.|
|Drill Call||Sounded to assemble on the drill field for instruction or drill.|
|Assembly of Guard||Sounded to post guard detail.|
|Orders||Sounded to post Orders of the Day|
|School||Sounded to report to classes.|
|Adjutants Call||Guard detail marched to guardhouse.|
|Church||Sounded at 1000 hours for Sunday services.|
|Issue or Distributions||Troops would assemble to receive distributions.|
|1st Sergeants Call||Company First Sergeants report to H.Q. with duty assignments and roll call reports.|
|Officers Call||Sounded to call Officers to Head Quarters.|
|Retreat||Sounded as the flag was lowered during the evening assembly.|
|Tattoo||Secure the post and prepare for bed.|
|Call to Quarters||Sounded to prepare for lights out and bed check.|
|Taps||Played as the last call of the day - to stop all talking and have lights out by the last note.|
The bugle has been a military instrument
since the late 1700s.