Tapley, Daniel

Place of Birth: Halifax

Date of enlistment: 1 May 1875

Age given at enlistment: 34

Rank: Private

Company: H

Location on 25 June 1876: Fort Rice



Name, date and place of birth not yet verified. For details of his military service consult: (i) ‘Military Register of Custer’s Last Command,’ Roger L. Williams, The Arthur H. Clark Company, Norman, Oklahoma, 2009, p. 288.  (ii) ‘Men With Custer – Biographies of the 7th Cavalry,’ Edited by Ronald H. Nichols with Daniel I. Bird, CBHMA Inc., 2010, p. 388.

An Anglo-Irish Tailor

  • Not yet fully researched.
  • Daniel Tapley had blue eyes,  brown hair, a fair complexion, and was 5′ 10″ tall.
  • There’s little doubt that he was the David Tapley, a tailor, who enlisted in the 19th U.S. Infantry at Madison, Arkansas, on 10 May 1868, who stated he was born in Dublin, Ireland, although he is described as having grey eyes and standing 5′ 10 3/4″ tall.
  • The census taken in New Orleans. Louisiana on 8 June 1870 shows a “David Tapply, age 32, a Soldier in the U.S. Army.”
  • Captain Frederick Benteen considered Tapley, his wife, and their numerous children to be the cause of much trouble.
  • When discharged at Fort Abraham Lincolm on 25 November 1878 Tapley was given a character reference of “None.”  Apparently he became caretaker at Fort Rice after the post was abandoned.
  • Bismarck Weekly Tribune, 5 March 1886 – District Court – “The calendar contains nine new criminal causes to be disposed of as follows: ….Territory of Dakota vs. David Tapley ….” [Neither the charge nor the outcome was reported in the press.]
  • Benteen met Tapley in 1888 at Fort Niobrara, Nebraska and judged him not to be in good circumstances (Military Register, p. 292).
  • His true name and country of birth remain uncertain. Tapley’s (or Tapply) fate is not known to this writer.
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