In May of 1863, as Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s army was advancing on Vicksburg, Mississippi, another Federal force was surrounding the only other Confederate stronghold left on the Mississippi River at Port Hudson, Louisiana, about 110 miles to the south. Major General Nathanial Banks’ 19th Corps with over 30,000 troops, faced roughly 7,000 Confederates under Major General Franklin Gardner in the well fortified garrison. Banks planned on capturing Port Hudson quickly and then marching north to assist Grant at Vicksburg. But Nathanial Banks was no Ulysses Grant, and the fighting at Port Hudson would last longer and cost more lives than the 19th Corps commander anticipated.
One of the 19th Corps regiments that bore the brunt of the fighting was the 8th New Hampshire Infantry, under the command of Colonel Hawkes Fearing, Jr. The 8th New Hampshire was one of four regiments in the Second Brigade of the Corps’ Third Division. The regiment had been in Louisiana for over a year, had seen action and taken casualties, but not on the scale they would experience at Port Hudson. Continue reading “The 8th New Hampshire Infantry at Port Hudson” »
Richard is of Old German origin and means “powerful leader”.
Birthday: January 27, 1826
Birth Name: Richard Taylor (often referred to
as Dick Taylor)
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentrucy
Date of Death: April 12, 1879
Cause: Complications from rheumatoid arthritis
Place of Death: New York City
Height: 5′ 8 1/2″
Occupation before Civil War:
Sugar cane plantation owner; Louisiana State Senator
Occupation during Civil War:
Officer in Confederate army, rising
from Colonel to Lieutenant General
Occupation after Civil War: Lobbyist, part
owner of a New Orleans canal company, author
First Bull Run. Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign,
The Seven Days battles, 1863 battles in the
Bayou Teche region of Louisiana, Red River Campaign.
Father: Zachary Taylor (Nov. 24, 1784-July 9, 1850)
Zachary Taylor was 12th President of the United States
Mother: Margaret Taylor (Sept. 21, 1788-Aug. 14, 1852)
Sister: Ann Margaret Taylor (April 9, 1811-Dec. 2, 1875)
Sister: Sarah Knox Taylor (March 6, 1814-Sept. 15, 1835)
Sister: Ocatavia Taylor (Aug. 16, 1816-July 8, 1820)
Sister: Margaret Smith Taylor (July 27, 1819-Oct. 22, 1820)
Sister: Mary Elizabeth Taylor (April 20, 1824-July26, 1909)
Sarah Knox Taylor was the first wife of future
Confederate President Jefferson Davis
Married: Louise Marie Bringier Feb. 10, 1851
(January 28,1834-March 16, 1875)
Daughter: Louise Margaret Taylor (Jan. 6, 1852-Sept, 2, 1901)
Daughter: Elizabeth Taylor (July 1854-1936)
Son: Zachary Taylor (June 1857-April 17, 1863)
Son: Richard Taylor, Jr. (June 1860-May 20, 1863)
Daughter: Myrthe Bianca Taylor (November 1864-1942)
Richard Taylor: Soldier Prince of Dixie
by T. Michael Parrish
Destruction and Reconstruction–Personal Experiences of the Late War
by Richard Taylor
After the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in January 1863, the northern states began recruiting African American regiments for military service. The first northern regiment of African American soldiers to head south was the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the unit featured in the 1989 film Glory. Although the enlisted men in these regiments were black, the officers were white, and often they were combat veterans of other regiments who transferred in after being recruited or recommended for the posts. Robert Gould Shaw, the Colonel of the 54th Massachusetts, had been recruited from the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry and had fought at the battles of Cedar Mountain and Antietam.
Another officer in the 54th was Garth W. James, a brother of the 19th and early 20th century writer Henry James. Born on July 21st, 1845, James was just 17 years old when he enlisted in the 44th Massachusetts Infantry in the summer of 1862. He rose to the rank of Sergeant and saw action along the North Carolina coast. James was recommended by his commanding officer for an officer’s commission with the 54th, and he was mustered in as the Regimental Adjutant and a 1st Lieutenant in the spring of 1863.
The 54th left Massachusetts for South Carolina on May 28th and arrived at Hilton Head on June 3rd. The regiment first saw action on July 16th on James Island before being moved to Morris Island, where Major General Quincy Gillmore was preparing an assault on Fort Wagner, one of the defenses of heavily fortified Charleston Harbor. The 54th was to lead the charge and would be followed by nine white regiments from two infantry brigades.
Garth James participated in the July 18th assault on Fort Wagner and wrote an account of the action after the war. Here are some excerpts from that account, beginning just prior to the early evening attack, when Brigadier General George C. Strong, the 54th’s brigade commander addressed the unit. Continue reading “Captain Garth W. James of the 54th Massachusetts Recalls the Assault on Fort Wagner” »