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  • Date of birth : 27/01/1826
  • Date of death : 12/04/1879

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  • Taylor Richard

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Richard Taylor (1826)

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  Summary  

Richard Taylor (January 27, 1826 – April 12, 1879) was a Confederate general in the American Civil War. He was the son of United States President Zachary Taylor and First Lady Margaret Taylor.

  Biography  

 early life
Richard Taylor was born at the "Springfield" family estate near Louisville, Kentucky. He was named after his grandfather, Richard Lee Taylor, a Virginian who had served in the American Revolution. He had five siblings, named Ann Mackall Taylor, Sarah Knox Taylor, Octavia Pannill Taylor, Mary Smith Taylor and Mary Elizabeth Bliss. Much of his early life was spent on the American frontier with his father Zachary, a United States Army officer. As a young man, he attended private schools in Kentucky and Massachusetts. Although starting his college studies at Harvard University, he graduated from Yale in 1845, where he was a member of Skull and Bones. He received no scholastic honors, but spent the majority of his time reading books on classical and military history. During the Mexican-American War, Taylor served as the military secretary to his father.

His father sent Taylor away during the war because of his rheumatoid arthritis. He agreed to manage the family cotton plantation in Jefferson County, Mississippi, and, in 1850, he persuaded his father to purchase Fashion, a large sugar plantation in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana.

On February 10, 1851, Richard Taylor married Louise Marie Myrthe Bringier , a native of Louisiana, daughter of a wealthy French creole matriarch Aglae Bringier, who would soon help them out financially after the freeze of 1856. Taylor and Marie Bringier would go on to have five children, two sons and three daughters; Richard, Zachary, Louise, Elizabeth, and Myrthe. His two sons, Richard and Zachary, both died during the war after contracting scarlet fever, the loss of which hurt the elder Richard Taylor deeply.

After President Taylor's untimely death in July 1850, Taylor inherited Fashion. Steadily he increased its area, improved its sugar works , and expanded its labor force to nearly 200 slaves, making him one of the richest men in Louisiana. But the freeze of 1856 ruined his crop, forcing him into heavy debt with a large mortgage on the plantation.

 politics
In 1855, entered local politics when he was elected to the Louisiana Senate, in which he served until 1861. He was first affiliated with the Whig Party, then the American Party, and then finally the Democratic Party. He was sent to the Democratic Convention in Charleston, South Carolina as a delegate from Louisiana and witnessed the splintering of the Democrats. While in Charleston, he tried to make a compromise between the two Democratic factions, but his attempts ultimately failed.

 family
Richard Taylor was the only son of Margaret Mackall Smith and President Zachary Taylor. His sister Sarah Knox Taylor was the first wife of Jefferson Davis for three months in 1835. His other sister, Mary Elizabeth Bliss, who had married William Wallace Smith Bliss in 1848, served as her father's White House hostess.

Although Richard chose to serve the Confederacy, his uncle, Joseph Pannell Taylor, served on the opposite side as a Brigadier-General in the Union Army.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Richard Taylor", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.