Skip to content

Union College marks 150th anniversary of 'Taps'

It may be the most recognizable 24 notes in music. Played at funerals, and wreath-laying and memorial services, the military bugle call known simply as Taps was first sounded in July 1862.

The man who gave life to Taps was Daniel Butterfield, a member of Union’s Class of 1849. While serving as a general during the Civil War, Butterfield didn’t like the traditional bugle call that marked the day’s end. So with the help of his brigade’s bugler, Butterfield tweaked another call no longer in use. The eloquent and haunting sound quickly spread to other units and became the new standard.

Taps turns 150 this year. To read more about the history of the call in Stars and Stripes, click here.

To read the College's news story, click here.