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Reportedly it all began in 1862 during the American Civil War. At the time 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 moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded in the field.  Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life to bring the wounded soldier to their lines for medical attention.  Crawling forward whilst under gunfire, he reached the soldier and started to pull him back towards his lines.  When he reached their lines, he discovered that it was a Confederate soldier, but that he was dead.  In the light of a lantern he looked at the soldiers face en went numb with shock, 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 the heartbroken father sent a message to his superiors, requesting permission to give his son a full Military burial.  The request was that if members of the Army Band could play a dirge for his son during the funeral.  The request was turned down.  However out of respect for the father, permission was given for one musician to play at the funeral.  He chose a Bugler.  Captain Ellicombe had found a piece of in his sons pocket with musical notes written thereon.  He asked the Bugler to play the notes at the funeral. 

The haunting melody we now know as the Last Post was born.


Day is done

Gone the sun

From the lakes

From the hills

From 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

Neath the stars

Neath the sky

As we go

This we know

God is nigh

When you hear this song played by a single bugler or trumpeter, remember those who paid the supreme price for their country.