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John Taylor, U.S.V.
Captain John Taylor, U.S.V.
Captain John Taylor, Quartermaster-General G. A. R. (Receiver of Taxes
of Philadelphia), was born in Philadelphia April 5, 1840, and at the age
of thirteen years entered the service of a commercial house as errand-boy.
In 1861 he was among the first to enroll his name with the " Scotch
Rifles," a new military company that had been organized in his
neighborhood. The company was not mustered into service until the
following month, when it became Company E, Second Regiment Pennsylvania
Reserve Volunteer Corps, John Taylor's name being borne on the rolls as
June 12 he was promoted sergeant, and July 4 was made orderly sergeant.
During the same month the Second, with the other regiments of the
Pennsylvania Reserve Division, was hurried to the front, and from that
time until April, 1865, John Taylor was identified with every movement and
every action of the Pennsylvania Reserves.
He was with his company as sergeant at the battle of Dranesville, December
20, 1861, the first victory of the Army of the Potomac, and at
Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mills, Savage Station, Frazier's Farm, White Oak
Swamp, Glendale, Charles City Cross-Roads, Malvern Hill, Manassas,
Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg, and in the famous
mud-march in January, 1863. He was at Gettysburg July 2 and 3 as a
lieutenant, leading his men across the " Valley of Death" at the foot of
Round Top, and had command of the advance skirmish line that harassed the
army of Lee as it retreated.
We find John Taylor an aid on the staff of the commander of the First
Brigade Pennsylvania Reserves through all the campaigns preceding the
battle of the Wilderness, and his gallant bearing drew from Major General
George G. Meade, commanding the Army of the Potomac, one of the most
complimentary letters ever written by a commanding officer.
At the Wilderness General McCandless and John Taylor rode side by side,
leading the brigade in a charge into and through a corps of the enemy. The
charge was a forlorn hope; it relieved and extricated Wadsworth and his
division, but left John Taylor a prisoner, and the privations,
vicissitudes, and sufferings of his ten months of captivity would fill a
volume. Three times he escaped and just as often was recaptured, suffering
the meanwhile hunger, fatigue, nakedness, and the diseases incident
thereto. At Charleston he was one of those who, with General Truman
Seymour, were removed to a place of confinement within the line and reach
of the Union guns at Charleston harbor.
||In March, 1865, Lieutenant Taylor
heard the glad tidings of exchange, and at Wilmington, North
Carolina, he was again under the shadow of the old flag. With the
offer in his hands of a command in the Hancock Veteran Legion he
succumbed to typhoid fever, and his convalescence was met with the
glorious news of victory for the Union.
His recovery brought him a position in the quartermaster's
department U. S. A., stationed at Fort Monroe, where he remained
until 1870, when he returned to Philadelphia and engaged in the
insurance business, in which his qualifications have made him
He is a member of Captain Philip R. Schuyler
Post 51, Department of Pennsylvania, G. A. R.; was appointed its
Adjutant, and the year following was elected its Commander and
re-elected on the expiration of his term.
Captain John Taylor served for three terms as Assistant
Quartermaster-General of the Department of Pennsylvania, and was then
elected Department Commander. In 1881 he was appointed
Quartermaster-General G. A. R. by Commander-in-Chief Vandervoort, and the
eleven succeeding Commanders-in-Chief have each in turn reappointed him to
this position of trust in the G. A. R.
He is a member of the Loyal Legion, Past Colonel of the Union Veteran
Legion, president of the War Veterans' Club, a trustee of the National
Memorial Association of the Union Prisoners of War, Past Master of Lodge
No. 9, A. Y. M.; member of the Corinthian Chapter, R. A. M.; of
Philadelphia Commandery, Knights Templar; of Lu Lu Temple of the Mystic
Shrine, and of the Consistory.
Of Scotch-Irish parentage, both countries claim him, and he is a member of
both the St. Andrew's and Hibernian Societies, as well as of the
Captain Taylor was elected Receiver of Taxes of Philadelphia February,
1890, for three years by a majority of nearly forty thousand, and on
assuming the responsibilities of the office immediately made himself
familiar with all its details.
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who
served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419
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