Some quatrains by me

none of us the same
i
t’s life’s little game
but we still have friends
who stick with us to the end

-Katie

you are my brother

yes I know its true

we share a mother

and I will always love you

Katie

Stars paint a picture in the nighttime sky

That helps us light our way

Up above is were they stay

But Why

-katie

Sitting near the river

Over by the tree

Far away from home

Are you and me

– Katie

Taps: More Then Just The Military’s Lullaby

I bet every one in America has heard the call Taps, maybe it was at a funeral or a parade or maybe they were enlisted in the Military and heard it every night. But only a handful of people know why it’s played or why it’s called Taps. Even less people don’t know the real story.

Some think that Taps is played because of this: Captain Ellicombe, a Union Army Captain, heard moans of a soldier in the night. Ellicombe could not tell if the dying solider was an Confederate or an Union, but he had to help him. He bent down to aid the solider and looked into his eyes and realizes that the solider was his son. In his son’s pocket he finds two papers one stating that he is a Confederate and one other with some notes on it. The next morning Ellicombe asked if he could have a funeral for his son. The regiment said he could not have a formal funeral because he was a Confederate, but in respect for the father he was aloud to have one instrument, he picked a bugler to play the notes that he found in his son’s pocket. But that’s just a myth.

Here is the real story, Daniel Adams Butterfield, a Colonel in the 12th Regiment of the New York States Militia (who was later promoted to General and given command of a brigade of the 5th Corps of the Army of the Potomac) was not happy with the call Extinguish Lights, but he liked the call Tattoo, so he revised it. He thought the call Extinguish Lights was to formal to signal the days end. So he asked Oliver Willcox Norton, the brigade’s bugler, to play Butterfield’s new call. He gave Norton an envelope with some notes scribbled on it. Norton and Butterfield constantly changed the original notes so that the final product sounded prefect. Norton wanted to honor the men who died in the Seven Day’s Battle. The call first sounded in July 1862, and it quickly spread as the war went on, first with the Unions ant then with the Confederates. It became an official bugle call after the war.

So why is it called Taps? Well, Jari A. Villanueva, a bugler and bugle historian, says it is called Taps because, “As far as military regulations went, there was a prescribed roll call to be taken “at Taptoe time” to ensure that all the troops had returned to their billets. It is possible that the word Tattoo became Taps. Tattoo was also called Tap-toe and as is true with slang terms in the military, it was shortened to Taps.”

Why is it played at funerals? At General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Funeral, who died in 1891, Taps was played. Taps soon was played at many Military Funerals including Butterfield’s who died in 1901. It is a good chose to play at funerals because it has a haunting yet soothing feeling to it.

So the next time you listen to Taps I hope you take into account that Taps is more then the Military’s Lullaby. Maybe you’ll think of the dead confederate boy, his notes the soundtrack to his small funeral, the only one he was allowed because of what side he fought on. Maybe you’ll think of General Butterfield and Norton sitting in the night writing taps.

immigrant-children-ellis-island.jpg
May 4, 1899 My twin sister
Annalise sang all the time about our new home country, America. We sang In America life is more golden, In America the flowers are more beautiful, In America the world is much better, and that’s were I’m longing to be my dear. The ship was so crowed. Annalise, my mother and I slept on one tiny cot. It was always cold and so was the food. I hope the food isn’t cold in America. It’s been about two week on the boat. Captain says we will see Lady Liberty in about another week.
May 15, 1899- I see her! I see her! Her copper glows, shinning on the ocean, like stars in the night time sky. I woke up Annalise, Mother and Father to show them lady Liberty. “We are home now.” Father said with tears in his eyes. We groped for our few things in the dark and went on the ferry that took us to Ellis island. Later that Day We arrived there. As soon as we put our bags down, we were asked to go upstairs for a full body inspection. They watched us as we walked up the stairs. Then they took a button hook and inspected our eyes, for something called trachoma. Something went wrong, Father and Annalise were told they had to go to the hospital wing.(later) A nurse came to me and mama. Father is fine, but Annalise has to be sent back to Germany. She is just the age of thirteen she can barely support herself.
May 16, 1899- I didn’t seep at all last night. The sleeping conditions at Ellis Island are worse then on the ship. There is absolutely no room. I am constantly thinking about Annalise. I wonder how she is doing on the ship back home. No its not home. Its just a place, were I used to live. THis should be our home now, but it’s nothing without her.
July 22, 1899- We finally got a house and father got a job as a bricklayer. The house is much better then the one in Germany. It’s not bigger or fancier, it is better because it is in America. It is worse because I am sleeping in an empty room. My whole life is empty without Annalise. I am so happy though because I finally got a letter from her. She has been living with my uncle and they are coming to America too! I am so happy for all of them.
October 7, 1899- I wake up and see her. With her bags, standing in front of my bed. My family is together again.

My Sister

Dark Brown Hair
Skin is Fair

On her I can always Depend
This Girl is My Best Friend

This girl is my Sister

Sometimes I want her to go away like a Blister

Yes We Fight

But we talk all day and Night

I hold tight when she’s going someplace Far

But I can’t hold on to long because she needs to get in her Car

She’s going to College next go June

That may seem like a long time to you, but for me it is way to soon

– Katie