When I read about the end of The Wah recently, the name Richard Taylor caught my eye. I knew he was Sarah Knox Taylor Davis’s brother and the son of Zachery Taylor. I wanted to know more.
He was evidently a very talented soldier like his father and brother-in law. When war erupted, Taylor was asked by Braxton Bragg to help him organize and train the Confederate forces that were sent to Pensacola. He rose through the ranks quickly, was made a colonel, and served at First Manassas.
By October, 1861 he had been made brigadier general and commanded a Louisiana brigade under Richard Ewell. Some thought it was favoritism, because of Taylor’s relationship with Davis. Instead, Davis countered that he was recommended for the promotion by General Jackson himself.
Taylor was promoted to the rank of major general on July 28, 1862, the youngest major general in the Confederacy at the time.He served brilliantly throughout the duration of the war.
In the last days of the war, he was given command of Alabama and Mississippi, and after John Bell Hood’s disastrous campaign, Taylor was given command of the Army of Tennessee. He surrendered his department at Citronelle Alabama, the last major Confederate force remaining east of the Mississippi on May 8, 1865.
Nathan Bedford Forrest said about him: “If we’d had more like him, we would have licked the Yankees long ago”!!! Would that we had.