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TAYLOR, WILLIAM A.

Aragorn Storm Miller and Bruce Allardice

TAYLOR, WILLIAM A. (1832–1891). William A. Taylor, businessman, and Confederate officer, was born in Cumberland, Maryland, on March 2, 1832, to William K. Taylor and Lavina (Hill) Taylor. Taylor attended college in Maryland and was appointed postmaster of the Cumberland by President Franklin Pierce in the mid-1850s. Taylor married Virginia Wheatley of Georgetown, Maryland. The couple had one child. Following the death of his wife in 1859, Taylor moved to Texas, where he settled in Waco and opened a bookstore.

In 1862 Taylor sold this property and enlisted in the Twenty-fourth Texas Cavalry Regiment, also known as Wilkes's Regiment. On January 6, 1862, he was elected captain of Company C, and on June 27, 1862, he was promoted to the rank of major. The Twenty-Fourth was dismounted and brigaded with several other regiments of dismounted cavalry to form Deshler’s (later Granbury’s) Texas Brigade. Taylor and his unit were captured at the battle of Arkansas Post in January 1863. After a brief imprisonment in Camp Chase in Ohio, Taylor and the regiment were exchanged on April 29, 1863, and served east of the Mississippi River as part of the Army of Tennessee for the remainder of the war. Taylor participated with this unit in actions such as the battle of Missionary Ridge and the siege of Atlanta. On November 14, 1864, Taylor was promoted to the rank of colonel but  word of his promotion did not reach him until January 5, 1865, because he was in the Johnson's Island, Ohio, officer's prison, after being captured at the battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864.  He was released from prison on June 1, 1865.

Following the war, Taylor returned to Waco. On December 6, 1866, he married Virginia Ariana Wilson of Alabama, the widow of B. A. Downs. This couple had three children. For four years he worked as a deputy in the county clerk's office. During this time he also maintained a real estate and investing business. Prior to his retirement in 1882, he served as vice-president of the Providence National Bank, managed the Waco Cotton Factory, and held stock in various local corporations. On March 9, 1891, Taylor passed away in Waco. He is buried with his wife at Oakwood Cemetery in Waco.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Bruce S. Allardice, Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008). Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Texas, National Archives and Records Service, Washington. A Memorial and Biographical History of McLennan, Falls, Bell, and Coryell Counties, Texas. (Chicago: Lewis, 1893; rpt., St. Louis: Ingmire, 1984). James A. Mundie, Jr., with Bruce S. Allardice, Dean E. Letzring, and John H. Luckey, Texas Burial Sites of Civil War Notables: A Biographical and Pictorial Field Guide (Hillsboro, Texas: Hill College Press, 2002).

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Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Aragorn Storm Miller and Bruce Allardice, "TAYLOR, WILLIAM A.," accessed July 14, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fta70.

Uploaded on April 29, 2011. Modified on August 5, 2011. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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