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Record 62/294
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Letter and envelope addressed to Lowell G. Taplin from William P. Taylor, concerning Osman D. Taplin Co. E, 2nd Wis Inf., Mortally Wounded at Antietam. Washington D.C.. Sept 24th, 1862 Mr. Taplin Dear Sir, I just arrived from the Battlefield, only an hour ago, sent you a telegraph dispatch, informing you of the condition of Osman, to which I hoped you received. I cannot add much to the information conveyed in the dispatch, only to tell you where he is at. He was lying at a house about two miles from wher he was wounded, attended by [John] Brent Davids, whom you may depend is as good a nurse as can be found. Osman was wounded by a musket ball, which passed entirely through his stomach, just above the hip and thigh joint. When I first saw him I did not think his wound could be severe, as he seemed so bright and cheerful. Shaking me cordially by the hand, and in answer to my exclamation of surprise at his cheery appearence, he said Hi, at the same time giving me one of his peculiar looks, which leaves one in doubt as to his sincerit. "I want to inform you Mr. Man that it pains me a little ...", (Tim, exactly) poor boy. There was no inflamation whatever threatening and the doctor had high hopes of all being right in a few days. But Sir, I dare not raise your hopes too high. I sympathize with you all in your suspence, which must be worse than a full knowledge of the worst, but hope to be able to send more encouraging news in a day or two. I am detailed, or rather permitted (as my pass reads), to travel between Washington to attend to [the] wounded and carry mail etc. so that I am prepared to answer the enquires of the anxious friends of the members of 'E'Company in regards to whereabouts, condition, etc. I brought with me today, I think about 200 letters that had reached our Regiment and the 6th Wisconsin, addressed to men who are either killed, wounded, sick or missing. And I have visited all the hospitals this side of the battleground delivering many, but have two days work before I'm to distribute to those in the hospitals in the City, Georgetown, and Alexandria, to all of which I am allowed to pass, affording me in this way an excellant opportunity to find out the locality of our boys. And as the mail matters, for our regiment don't (sometimes) reach us for three or four weeks, by addressing me, a more speedy answer could be obtained, and be answered. I would spare anything to allow allay the anxiety and fear of anxious parents and friends of our noble boys if noble can express the manner in which they as a regiment, nay a brigade, have conducted themselves. They have no 'bloating' reporters as the New York brigades have, but our generals know what brigade to send to a point any way weak. It was not my intention sir, to write you a lengthy letter, as indeed I have not time. I am devoting this afternoon to writing letters for men who were dying, and those who are severly wounded, and who requested me to do so, giving me their friends addresses etc. Oh Mr. Taplin, I saw some awfully heart rending scenes. May you never see such a battlefield. One man died in my arms while I was giving him a drink. I could write a volume with what little I have seen alone. I saw sixteen of our (2nd) dead burried in one grave, [I] was at the burrial. Amoung those are Wel Bridges, Vincent Flanigan, and Timothy Connors. By the way, please do inform Mr. Bridges that I have the likeness of himself & Mrs. B, which one of the boys took from Wellington's body as also a lock of his hair, which he thoughtfully cut from his head before he was placed in a soldiers grave amoung his comrades. I will keep them safe until somebody takes them to Oshkosh. Then I will send them. I had hoped to find CaptainSmith yet here, but he left on Monday at noon. I have also a likeness of Timothy Connor which I will also keep safe. I am stopping at 329 New York Avenue, there made arrangements to make this my home when in the city. Now please let it be known to all that I am ready and willing to attend to any thing for them if they will just write me and address as above. Please give my respects to Mr. and Mrs. Johnston as also Mrs. Taplin and all friends. When I left the company on Monday, all who were remaining were "first rate" [and] ready for anything. And were about seven miles from Harpers Ferry not expecting to go into any hard work for a little while. Yours respectfully, Wm. P. Taylor
Letter from William P. Taylor to Osman Taplin's father. -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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