THE CIVIL WAR
Letter from John B. David to Osman Taplin's mother.

Previous Next Civil War Exhibit Page Home Search
Record 64/294
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
Image
Enlarge Image
Admin/Biog History TAPLIN, Osman B. - Pvt., Company E, 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
Osman was born circa 1840 at Vermont. He resided at Oshkosh, Winnebago County when he enlisted there on Apr. 21, 1861. An unmarried lumberman, he stood over 5'8" tall with blue eyes, brown hair and a florid complexion. He was assigned as above and was wounded severely in the side at Antietam, Maryland on Sept. 17, 1862. Osman died of his wounds on Sept. 24, 1862.
Jane S. Taplin was the wife of Lowell G. Taplin. They were born in Vermont and married there circa 1840. The couple had two children: Osman B., born circa 1841 and Carrie L., born circa 1843. In 1860 the family was living in Oshkosh in the 1st Ward. Lowell was working as a carpenter. Her son Osman died from wounds received during the Civil War. She died September 4, 1892 in Oshkosh.
John B. Davids was born circa 1841 at Illinois. He was a son of Alexander a brother of William. John was a single farmer residing at Oshkosh, Winnebago County when he enlisted there on Apr. 21, 1861 in Company E, 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Standing just over 6' tall, he had gray eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion. He was assigned as above and was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant in that company on Dec. 16, 1862. John was taken prisoner at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 1, 1863. He was mustered out on Feb. 2, 1865 at Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin. John was listed in the 1899 article by Col. Harshaw as residing at Portland, Oregon.
Classification Archives
Collection Civil War Small Collections
Dates of Accumulation October 31, 1862
Abstract Letter and envelope addressed to Jane S. Taplin from John B. David concerning Osman D. Taplin Co. E, 2nd Wis Inf., Mortally Wounded at Antietam.

Camp in Va. opposite Berlin Md.
Oct. 31st, 1862
Mrs. Taplin
Dear Madam,

Yours dated the 11th I received some time ago, but as we have been continually on the move, I have not had the opportunity to answer it before. In my letter to you informing you of the death of Osman and mentioned part of the conversation held between him and the Doctor and was not present and did not hear the whole of it. But, I heard the Doctor tell him he could never get well. Osman said he expect[ed] that. He also told the doctor that he was prepared and ready to die. Mrs. Taplin, you may think I did wrong, but when the doctor told him he could not live six hours, I turned and left. I had expected him to live at least longer than that and that perhaps he might get well. And to hear that he was so soon to go, was more than I could bare without a tear. After the doctor left him I returned to his side and never left it untill after his death.
He asked me to write to you and his father, which I have done. He told me he was not afraid to die and asked me not to look so sorry as I had plenty of other friends who were as good as he.

In Va. Nov. 2nd

You see that I was not allowed to finish this letter by one sitting and had just written the first page when orders came to move. I have not had an opportunity to write until now. We are on picket seven miles from Snicker's Gap. The enemy holds the gap. We will in all probability have a fight in two or three days if the enemy tries to prevent our march through. We are not to move today as it is Sunday. General McClellan does not march his troops on the sabbath if it is not an absolute necessity.
I had on the previous page commenced narrating to you the last words of Osman. After he had spoken to me in reguard to those articles which he asked me to send to you and which I have not had an opportunity as yet to send and do it with safety, but which I will as soon as such an opportunity presents itself. He asked me to remember him to all the company that escaped. After that he became deranged [and] continued in that state for about an hour and a half. When he called for me I was standing by his side and answered his call emediately.
He held out his hand and said good bye. Those were the last words he said. In half an hour he died. The last half hour of his life he was perfectly calm, and died with no pain visible to me. Perfectly happy. Mrs. Taplin
The conversation between him and the surgeon who attended on him I never learned and as it was a citizen surgeon who had volunteered to take care of the wounded and do not know his name either the place of his residence. If I knew both it would be impossible to get the conversation heald as he has forgotten who and what passed as so many died everyday and so amny had to be taken care of.
Mrs. Taplin, as I have written all of Osman's last words I will after thanking you for your kind letter and good opinion of myself close. You mentioned the wish to send me the Herald. I have often read it while Osman had it sent to him. And as it is a pleasant way of passing away leisure moments of which we have but few in an active campaign I shall be happy to receive it and also to hear from you by letter when an opportunity fot writing affords itself.
I must close. The report of our heavy guns can plainly be heard from our front. The battle has commenced, but the infantry may not be engaged for two or three days. As we must first find their position. Again, thanking you for your kind letter to me. Hoping that I may often hear from you I close for the present.

Yours as before
J.B. David Co. E
2nd Wis. Reg.
Gen. Gibbon's Brig.
Via Washington D.C.
Event Civil War
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Notes TAPLIN, Osman B. - Pvt., Company E, 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
Osman was born circa 1840 at Vermont. He resided at Oshkosh, Winnebago County when he enlisted there on Apr. 21, 1861. An unmarried lumberman, he stood over 5'8" tall with blue eyes, brown hair and a florid complexion. He was assigned as above and was wounded severely in the side at Antietam, Maryland on Sept. 17, 1862. Osman died of his wounds on Sept. 24, 1862.
DAVIDS, John B. - Sgt., Company E, 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
John was born circa 1841 at Illinois. He was a son of Alexander from a previous sketch and a brother of William from a following sketch. John was a single farmer residing at Oshkosh, Winnebago County when he enlisted there on Apr. 21, 1861. Standing just over 6' tall, he had gray eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion. He was assigned as above and was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant in that company on Dec. 16, 1862. John was taken prisoner at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 1, 1863. He was mustered out on Feb. 2, 1865 at Madison, Dane County, Wis-consin. John was listed in the 1899 article by Col. Harshaw as residing at Portland, Oregon.
TAYLOR, William P. - Pvt., Company E, 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
William was born in 1831 at Fredrickton, New Brunswick, Canada. He resided at Oshkosh, Winnebago County when he enlisted at Madison, Dane County on May 18, 1861. An unmarried joiner, William stood just over 5'6" tall with gray eyes, brown hair and a florid complexion. He was assigned as a fifer in the above company and was taken prisoner in the first battle at Bull Run, Virginia. He served in the office of the Wisconsin Soldier's Aid Society in Washington for the rest of his enlistment. William was mustered out on June 28, 1864 at the end of his term of enlistment. During the great Oshkosh fire on July 14, 1874, while helping a widow remove a heavy chest from a second floor apartment before the flames reached there, he suddenly dropped the chest and sat down in great pain. He was eventually taken back to his room at the Adams House by a doctor, where he died that same evening. Although single, William left a great legacy in this area. He was generous to a fault and helped anyone who truly needed it whenever he could. As a large testament to his friendship, mourners numbering in the thousands attended the solemn procession. The citizens of Oshkosh provided a monument for his grave in Oshkosh at Riverside Cemetery, Block 11. His grave was decorated by the local GAR post in May 1882.
Object ID SC411.5.17.7
Object Name Letter
People Taplin, Osman B.
Davids, John B.
Taplin, Jane S.
Subjects Civil War
2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry
Iron Brigade
Battlefields
Death
Casualties
Military hospitals
Wisconsin Soldiers' Aid Society
Religion
Title Letter from John B. David to Osman Taplin's mother.
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION ~ For access to this image, contact scross@ci.oshkosh.wi.us

NOTICE: This material may be freely used by non-commercial entities for educational and/or research purposes as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation without the permission of The Oshkosh Public Museum. 2005 Oshkosh Public Museum, All Rights Reserved   
Last modified on: December 12, 2009