Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield, a Union Army general in the Civil War, is credited with composing the iconic “Taps.” In 1862, Butterfield was camped at Harrison’s Landing in Virginia and it was here where he first played the tune. It has been argued that ‘Taps” was not an original idea but was instead a revision of several bugle calls. Butterfield’s version became popular during the war and the U.S. Army officially adopted “Taps” in 1874.
It received its name because the music could be done with taps of a drum if there was no bugler available.
Due to his actions during the Civil War, Butterfield received the Medal of Honor for his service.