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Record 63/294
Letter and envelope addressed to Lowell G. Taplin from John B. David concerning Osman D. Taplin Co. E, 2nd Wis Inf., Mortally Wounded at Antietam. Keedysville Md. Sept 24th, 1862 Mr. Taplin Dear Sir, I wrote you last week soon after the battle, and told you of your son's being wounded and his danger. I therein told you that in two or three days I would be able to inform you whether he would live or die. I was in hopes that by this time I could be able to give you hopes of his recovery, but such is not the case. He was moved from the Hospital at Sherman' House to the Brigade Hospital at Keedysville last Monday the 22. The distance was two miles with pretty rough roads. He complained but little yet soon after he was placed in the hospital I noticed that he began to fall away. His pulse was weakened and he could not lay easy in any position. He passed the first night very quietly and the next day until about three in the afternoon when he began to get worse. He grew worse until about half past four when he was taken with cramps and heavy convulsions of the bowels. At about five o'clock he was cramped so that I thought he was dead, yet not so. But when he was able to speak he asked for water, which was brought to him. When he undertook to drink he discovered that his mouth would not open. His jaws were locked. He then asked the surgeon to give him something to ease the pain, which was done emediately, nearly choking him to death. He then asked the surgeon if he would live or not. Thereupon the doctor told him he could not live, and asked him if he was ready and prepared, Tim said that he was ready to die , but that the doctor had ought to have told him before. They talked some time when he began to grow worse. He asked me to write to you and his mother and tell how and where he died. He also asked me to send you a fine daguereotype that was in his knapsack. This I will forward as soon as possible. He suffered considerable until he became perfectly easy, but too week to say anything. He died at twelve minutes past three. I and George Smith took care of the body. We got a coffin made and at twelve today we burried him in the Keedysville cemetery, Washington County, Maryland. He was a noble boy. AS a soldier he had no superior on the battlefield or parade ground. He was brave to a fault, kind to all, all loved him and all mourn his loss. He was my tent mate all last winter while at Camp Tillinghast and consequently we were firm friends. He asked for me to take care of him and his request was granted. I did my most, but his wound was mortal. I could do nothing but grant his requests, thereby making him comfortable and quiet. If you should want to communicate with me for information at any time, I shall be happy to do all in my power for the parents of a Dear Friend. Yours Respectfully J.B. David Co. E, 2nd Reg. Wis. Reg. Gibbons Brigade Via Washington D.C.
Letter from John B. David to Osman Taplin's father. -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum

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