The Last Post

Here is something everyone should know.

We have all heard the haunting song “The Last Post”

It’s the song that gives us lumps in our throats and usually, tears in our eyes

But do you know the story behind the song?

Reportedly it all began in in 1862 during the American Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellecombe 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 Ellecombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay 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 started pulling him towards his encampment.

When the Captain finally reached his own lines it was only then 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 Captain asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his military 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’s funeral but the request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.

But out of respect for the Captain, they said they would allow him to have 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 dead son’s uniform.

This wish was granted.

The haunting melody , we now know as “The Last Post” used at military funerals was born.

Here are the words to that melody….

Day is done, gone the sun from the lakes. The hills. The sky. all is well, safely rest, God is nigh…

Fading light dims the sight and a star gems the sky. Gleaming bright from afar. Drawing nigh, falls the night…

Thanks and praise for our days neath the sun…

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