Let Us Consider the Past, that We May Cherish the Present and Prepare for the Future VB BEATY 2004
This page is dedicated to all service members of the Armed Forces from DeKalb County and Valley Head Alabama.
The Story of TAPS
We have all heard the haunting melody of "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 pleased to find out about its humble beginnings.
Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain
Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison' Landing, Virginia.
The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During
the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who was 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 his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier
and began pulling him toward the 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 the 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 to give his
son a 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 denied since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect
for the father, they did say they could give him 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, which we now know as "Taps" used at
military funerals, was born. And here are the words:
Day is done.
Gone the sun.
From the lakes.
From the hills.
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest.
God is nigh.
Dims the sight.
And a star,
Gems the sky,
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.
Let's not forget those service men and women who are away form home, in the
service of their country, giving of their time and sometimes their lives that
we can be safe and secure in this great country of ours.
GOD BLESS THEM ALL!
DeKalb County Civil War Veterans circa 1913
Methodist Church Service Members
OFF TO WAR
Supply Company, 339th Infantry Regiment, 85th Division, U.S. Army, American North Russia Expeditionary Force Company Photo taken somewhere in the Archangel Region of North Russia, ca. Spring of 1919 (Photo Credit: University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library, "Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collection") Special Note: Ralph L. White, a Valley Head resident was a member of this unit.
PS - I compared all of the (88) WHITE names in your Valley Head PDF document with the (51) WHITE surnames in my sister-in-law's database, but there were no matches. This leads me to believe that there is probably no relationship, but I'll ask her to look into it further. I have also sent her a link to your very interesting Valley Head website
Valley Head Service Members Pictures Just a few of so many
Billy Joe Ellis
Boddie BL Ellis
Luther O'Neal (Buck) Ellis, Jr.
Ronnie L Ellis
RESERVED for Your VETERAN
Tour of Duty - 1961 - 1975 - Viet Nam Pleiku, Kontum, Viet Nam - 1969 - 1970
Original Photos by CW3 S. K. Beaty, Sr.