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Record 64/294
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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.
Letter from John B. David to Osman Taplin's mother. -THE CIVIL WAR -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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