History of Funeral Traditions
Counter
Draping the Casket with the National Flag
"TAPS"
Firing Three Rifle Volleys over the Grave
History Menu
.
Military Funerals
.
the funeral source
"the" source for funeral information
Flowers, Gifts,
Baskets, Jewelry,
Books, Keepsakes,
& Variety of
Bereavement Gifts
COFFEE
&
CASKETS

Gatherings of
people to have
open and frank
conversation
about their EOL
Plans. We all
have to do it, so
why not talk
about it? You
can't avoid it
forever.
Do you have questions or comments? You can email us directly or
choose from a variety of ways to contact The Funeral Source
The Funeral Source.com is operated by The Funeral Source, Cincinnati, Ohio 45239
All Rights Reserved Copyright (c) 2015
SITE MAP
Contact
Education
Sponsorship
Donations
Visitor Comments
"Ask the Source"
Funeral Consultation
Photography
Funeral Planning
Classes
The Memorial Source
Galleries
Funeral Services
Coffee & Caskets
Home Funerals
Glossary
Funeral News
TFSConsumer Network
Final Words
Deathiversary
This custom began during the Napoleonic
Wars (1796-1815). The dead carried from the
field of battle on a caisson were covered with a
flag.
Flag Draped Casket
(photo: courtesy of Blacksphere.net)
This practice originated in the old custom of
halting the fighting to remove the dead from
the battlefield. Once each army had cleared its
dead, it would fire three volleys to indicate that
the dead had been cared for and that they were
ready to go back to the fight.
.
"Taps" is a call, composed by General Daniel
Butterfield, while in camp at Harrison's
Landing, Virginia, in 1862, "the Seven Days
Battle".

Butterfield wrote the call to replace the earlier
"Tattoo" (lights out), which he thought too
formal. The call soon became known as "Taps"
because it was often tapped out on a drum in the absence of a bugler. Before the
year was out, sounding Taps became the practice in both Northern and Southern
camps. The call was officially adopted by the U.S. Army in 1874.

Colonel James A. Moss, in his Officer's Manual first published in 1911, gives this
account of the initial use of Taps at a military funeral.

"During the Peninsular Campaign in 1862, a soldier of Tidball's Battery A of the
2nd Artillery was buried at a time when the battery occupied an advanced position
concealed in the woods. It was unsafe to fire the customary three volleys over the
grave, on account of the proximity of the enemy, and it occurred to Capt. Tidball
that the sounding of Taps would be the most appropriate ceremony that could be
substituted. The custom, thus originated, was taken up throughout the Army of
the Potomac and finally confirmed by orders."