Monday, January 24, 2011

Amanuensis and Military Monday: James C Tapley

Pfc. James C. (J.C.) Tapley served in General Patton's Third Army in the 34th Division, 168th Infantry during World War II.  He was a medic, and he was killed near Venafro, Italy on November 1, 1943.  He was 22 years old.

J.C. was the son of Bennett Olin Tapley and Florence Price Tapley.  He was the grandson of James Madison Tapley and Rebecca Page Tapley.  He was my 1st cousin, 1x removed. 

J.C.'s nephew allowed me to copy a letter, probably the last letter, that J.C.'s father wrote to him during the war.  It was actually written 10 days after J.C. was killed, but obviously Uncle Ol (Bennett Olin) didn't know that.  That is what makes it especially heartbreaking.  (You will notice that J.C.'s address was scratched out... I am guessing the Army did that when they realized he had been killed in action.)

Note:  Wesley was J.C.'s brother; The "ant" or Aunt Morning was on his mother's side; and Uncle "Tell" refers to George Washington Sentell Tapley, Bennett Olin's brother.

"To:  PFC James C. Tapley
From:  B.O. Tapley, Kite, G, RFD #2, November 11, 1943 

Dear Son:

J C I am trying to answer your letter I received the 8 of November and was glad to hear that you was getting along O.K.  As far as the rest of us and myself we are getting along very well - 

J C we are going to try to send you a box for Christmas and I want you to be on your look out for it 

J C Wesley and myself are still cutting blocks for our self and we got about three loads ready to haul now: -

And we are having some cold weather now  We had a big frost this morning 

J C ant Morning ? ? for her and by the way JC Uncle Tell are -
getting along better   I am in hopes he will soon be where he can go again -

 By news being short I recton I witt hafe to close after this line

love Father"

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