Pvt Richard Taylor
The Pvt Richard Taylor Camp #53 is located north central Alabama and northeast Alabama and has quarterly meetings in or around Huntsville. Its charter was dated August 21, 1999.
Richard Taylor was born near New Market in Madison County, Alabama in 1833. He was the son of a shoemaker and one of six siblings. Sometime before 1860, Richard left Alabama to work in a flour mill in Martin County, Indiana.
When the War began, despite his Alabama birth, Richard remained loyal to the Union and joined Company E, 18th Indian Infantry on August 16, 1861. His enlistment papers describe him as 5ft-10in, having a fair complexion, light hair, and blue eyes, while his occupation was listed as “engineer.”
The 18th Indiana served in Missouri in the first months of the War before joining an Army under Gen Samuel Curtis and crossing into Arkansas. While in camp near the battlefield of Pea Ridge, Pvt Taylor became deathly ill and was sent back to a hospital at Jefferson Barracks Missouri for recuperation.
Pvt Taylor rejoined his regiment in time for Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign and was engaged at Grand Gulf, Port Gibson, Champion’s Hill and Big Black before encircling the Confederates during the Siege of Vicksburg.
Pvt Taylor, along with most of his regiment, reenlisted and after a one-month furlough, was assigned to the Army of the Shenandoah under Gen.Phillip Sheridan. The regiment was engaged in all the major fights of the Valley Campaign, the battles of Opequan, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek.
The 18th Indiana has the distinction of being one of the few regiments who fought in all three major theaters of the War, Trans-Mississippi, Western and Eastern theaters.
At the Battle of Cedar Creek, Pvt Richard Taylor was cited for bravery for the capture of a Confederate Battle Flag. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery in battle.
Richard returned to Indiana after the War where he married and raised a family in the little town of Washington. He died there on February 23. 1890. The cemetery where he was buried was moved many years later and his true resting place is no longer known. A memorial stone was erected in his honor at Pioneer Park in Washington Indiana.