Portrait of Richard Taylor

On May 4, 1865, after learning of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, and General Joseph Johnston’s surrender at Bennett Place, North Carolina, Richard Taylor surrendered all the remaining Confederate forces east of the Mississippi River to Major General Edward Canby, at Citronelle, Alabama. [Wikimedia Commons]

Richard Taylor - Facts

January 27, 1826 - April 12, 1879

Key facts about Richard Taylor, a prominent Confederate general in the Eastern and Western theaters of the American Civil Warthe who son of United States President Zachary Taylor,

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Full Name:

  • Richard Taylor

Birth Date:

  • January 27, 1826

Birth Location:

  • Near Louisville, Kentucky, on his family’s plantation, “Springfield.”

Parents:

  • President Zachary Taylor and Margaret Mackall (Smith) Taylor

Education:

  • Harvard College, Yale College

Occupation:

  • Military officer
  • Plantation owner
  • Politician

Career Summary:

  • Lieutenant General (CSA)
  • Commander, Army of Tennessee

Spouse:

  • Louise Marie Myrthe Bringier (1851)

Nickname(s):

  • Dick

Place of Death:

  • New York, NY

Date of Death:

  • April 12, 1879

Place of Burial:

  • Metairie Cemetery, in New Orleans

Significance:

  • Richard Taylor was named after his paternal grandfather, Richard Lee Taylor, who served in the American Revolution.
  • Richard Taylor was the youngest child and only son of President Zachary Taylor and Margaret Mackall (Smith).
  • Richard Taylor spent much of his early life on the American frontier, where his father commanded several forts.
  • Richard Taylor received his early education in private schools in Kentucky and Massachusetts.
  • Richard Taylor studied classics for three years in Edinburg, Scotland.
  • As a young man, Richard Taylor lived for a year in France.
  • In 1843, Richard Taylor entered Harvard College as a junior.
  • In 1845, Richard Taylor graduated from Yale College.
  • During the Mexican-American War, Richard Taylor served as his father’s as the military secretary.
  • Richard Taylor was forced to leave military service during the Mexican-American War because he suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Richard Taylor managed his family’s cotton plantation in Jefferson County, Mississippi.
  • In 1850, Richard Taylor persuaded his father to purchase “Fashion”, a large sugar cane plantation in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana.
  • Richard Taylor became one of the richest men in Louisiana when he inherited the family plantation after his father died in 1850.
  • Richard Taylor married Louise Marie Myrthe Bringier on February 10, 1851.
  • Richard and Marie Taylor had five children, two sons and three daughters.
  • Both of Richard and Marie Taylor’s sons died of scarlet fever during the American Civil War.
  • Richard Taylor was Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s brother-in-law.
  • Richard Taylor owned nearly 200 slaves.
  • Richard Taylor served in the Louisiana state legislature from 1855 until 1861.
  • Richard Taylor was a member of the Whig Party, the American (Know-Nothing) Party, and the Democratic Party in that order.
  • Richard Taylor was a delegate to the Louisiana secession convention in January 1861 and voted with the convention’s majority for immediate secession.
  • When the Civil War began, Richard Taylor helped General Braxton Bragg train Confederate soldiers in Florida.
  • Richard Taylor was elected colonel of the 9th Louisiana Infantry in July 1861.
  • Confederate President Jefferson Davis promoted Richard Taylor to Brigadier General on October 21, 1861.
  • Richard Taylor took part in the battles of Front Royal (May 23, 1862), Winchester (May 25, 1862), and Port Republic (June 9, 1862) during Stonewall Jackson’s Shenandoah Campaign.
  • Richard Taylor took part in the Seven Days Battles (June 25–July 1, 1862) during the Peninsula Campaign in Virginia.
  • Richard Taylor was promoted to major general on July 28, 1862.
  • At age 36, Richard Taylor was the youngest officer to be promoted to major general in the Confederate Army at the time of his promotion.
  • Richard Taylor was assigned to command the District of Western Louisiana in August 1862.
  • In the spring of 1863, Taylor tried unsuccessfully to disrupt Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s supply lines west of the Mississippi River during the Vicksburg campaign.
  • Richard Taylor defeated Union General Nathaniel Banks’ force at the Battle of Mansfield on April 8, 1864.
  • Richard Taylor’s victory at the Battle of Mansfield and strategic victory at the Battle of Pleasant Hill essentially ended the Union’s Red River Campaign.
  • Richard Taylor was promoted to lieutenant general April 8, 1864.
  • July 18, 1864, President Davis placed Taylor in command of the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana
  • On January 23, 1865, Taylor succeeded General John Bell Hood as commander of the tattered Army of Tennessee after it limped back south following Hood’s disastrous Franklin-Nashville Campaign.
  • On May 4, 1865, after learning of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, and General Joseph Johnston’s surrender at Bennett Place, North Carolina, Richard Taylor surrendered all the remaining Confederate forces east of the Mississippi River to Major General Edward Canby, at Citronelle, Alabama.
  • After the Civil War, Richard Taylor moved to New Orleans. His plantation had been destroyed by Union soldiers during the war and then confiscated.
  • Richard Taylor published his memoirs, entitled Destruction and Reconstruction: Personal Experiences of the Late War, in 1879.
  • Richard Taylor died on April 12, 1879 at the New York home of his friend Samuel Latham Mitchell Barlow.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Richard Taylor - Facts
  • Coverage January 27, 1826 - April 12, 1879
  • Author
  • Keywords Richard Taylor
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 27, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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