Love story revealed in discovered letters

By The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS – A chronicle of love and war based on letters discovered at a Belleville, Ill., flea market is being considered for a feature film.

Former St. Louisan Jeffrey Copeland wrote “Inman’s War: A Soldier’s Life in a Colored Battalion in World War II” in 2006. The nonfiction book is based on the 150 letters postmarked 1942-44 that he found in 2002.

Olivia Merriwether and Inman Perkin met, fell in love and wed at the outset of World War II. But they had to hide their marriage from the bride’s employer, the St. Louis School District. A district policy at the time said female teachers who married must resign.

Perkin died in 1944 while serving in Italy.

Copeland is chairman of the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Northern Iowa.