Civil War vet­eran’s fam­ily hon­ored at History Sum­mit

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

KENT NAR­ROWS — Queen Anne’s County His­to­rian Mary Mar­garet Rev­ell Good­win told the au­di­ence at the sec­ond annual History Sum­mit, held at the Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press, that more than 25 slaves from the county served and fought in the Civil War. Of those, three re­turned to Cen­tre­ville af­ter the war and stayed un­til their deaths. Good­win said the rest moved away due to lack of work in the area.

Good­win, with the help of oth­ers, was able to track down rel­a­tives of one of those Civil War soldiers and hon­ored them with a procla­ma­tion from the com­mis­sions dur­ing the sum­mit. The procla­ma­tion rec­og­nized the ser­vice of James Tay­lor, born about 1843, a slave to R. E. Fed­de­man, who en­listed in March of 1864 as a pri­vate in Com­pany K of the 39th United States Col­ored Troops.

“So many men went un­rec­og­nized and have never been named and known ... my goal is to have as many of the fam­i­lies traced as pos­si­ble,” Good­win said. “You are the first.”

De­scen­dants of Tay­lor, some Queen Anne’s County res­i­dents, oth­ers trav­el­ing from out of state, were given the procla­ma­tion.

“I feel hon­ored to ac­cept this procla­ma­tion on be­half of my fam­ily mem­bers I have here with me,” said Jean Cooper, the old­est liv­ing mem­ber of the fam­ily. “... We all feel very hon­ored, I’m sure, to be rec­og­nized as be­ing part of the history of Queen Anne’s County.”

Tay­lor was man­u­mit­ted to free­dom af­ter re­turn­ing home from the war af­ter about two years of ser­vice. Tay­lor’s reg­i­ment was in­volved in the Wilder­ness Cam­paign, the Battle of Peters­burg and the Ber­muda Hun­dred as well. Tay­lor stayed with his reg­i­ment af­ter the war for gar­ri­son duty in North Carolina, the procla­ma­tion stated.

Craig Tay­lor, who lives in Philadel­phia, Pa., and trav­eled to the Kent Nar­rows for the recog­ni­tion, said his un­cle, born about 1908, would tell of the fam­ily history and of the ser­vice their rel­a­tives pro­vided dur­ing the Civil War.

“It was some­thing that I kind of grew up know­ing, and it’s so im­por­tant to try and pre­serve that history,” he said. “... We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it as a fam­ily, and thank you so much for rec­og­niz­ing the fam­ily did give ser­vice dur­ing that time and through­out the years.”

The 1900 U.S. Cen­sus records show Tay­lor and wife Mary Clay­ton, whom he mar­ried in 1867 in Cen­tre­ville, had 14 chil­dren, 11 who sur­vived. In the 1910 U.S. Cen­sus, records show Tay­lor owned a home on South Com­merce Street.

Tay­lor worked at St. Paul’s Epis­co­pal Church for 15 years as a jan­i­tor. He also worked for Rev. James Mitchell and Pere­grine Til­gh­man for 20 years. Tay­lor died from chronic valve heart dis­ease on June 24, 1916.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.

PHOTO BY HAN­NAH COMBS

The Queen Anne’s County High School In­ter­act Club joins Acme in fill­ing hunger bags for fam­i­lies in need in the com­mu­nity. Sopho­mores Ni­cholas Mileo, left, and Car­rie Wal­czak sell raf­fle tick­ets to fund the project at the Cen­tre­ville Acme on Satur­day, Nov. 19.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

De­scen­dants of James Tay­lor, a Cen­tre­ville slave who fought in the Civil War and earned his man­u­mis­sion, were present to re­ceive a procla­ma­tion from the Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers hon­or­ing Tay­lor for rep­re­sent­ing the county in battle. From left: Ge­orge Brown, Brenda But­ler, Craig Tay­lor, Jean Cooper, Regina Bennett, Com­mis­sioner Jack Wil­son and his­to­rian Owen Lourie.

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