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PVT Isaac L. Taylor

Photo added by Cindy K. Coffin

PVT Isaac L. Taylor

  • Birth 23 Jan 1837 Fulton County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 2 Jul 1863 Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Burial Non-Cemetery Burial, Specifically: Buried on the Gettysburg Battlefield; not reinterred and not buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery
  • Memorial ID 35524609

Isaac L. Taylor served as a Private in Company E of the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. He was killed on July 2nd, 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg.

He enlisted in the First Minnesota Infantry on April 29, 1861. His brother Patrick had also enlisted as a Private in the same Company on May 24, 1861. Patrick had been a schoolteacher at Little Falls and other Morrison County settlements. Isaac came from Illinois to take Patrick's place as a teacher but before long, also enlisted and caught up with the regiment in the East. Isaac kept an important diary that details the First Minnesota regiment's activities from New Year's Day in January 1862 until the Gettysburg charge. When the sun was starting to set on July 2, the second day of the battle, Isaac was killed by a shell during the famous charge of the First Minnesota Infantry. He was found with his face toward the enemy.

On July 19, 1863, Isaac's brother Patrick, now a Sergeant in the First Minnesota, wrote a letter to his sister describing Isaac's death in the First Minnesota's gallant charge at Gettysburg:

We laid him down with all his clothes on, as he fell, and spread a shelter tent over him. As we laid him down, I remarked, Well, Isaac, all I can give you is a soldier's grave. I then sat down on a stone while the two comrades buried him. I was the only one to weep over his grave - his Father, Mother, brothers and sisters were all ignorant of his death, but we must hurry back for an engagement is momentarily expected.
-Sgt. Patrick Henry Taylor

Isaac had 11 siblings and was the son of Jonathan Hastings Taylor and Alvera Johnson. Six of the 9 Taylor sons would fight for the Union during the Civil War.


Burial information:

In 1863, Gettysburg's local attorney David Wills listed Private Taylor's name among those of the unknown soldiers of the 1st Minnesota Infantry who were presumed to be buried in the cemetery near the regiment's headstone marked "Unknown, Regt.1". However, Isaac Taylor was not buried as an "unknown" in the cemetery. His brother Patrick identified his body, which was found on the battlefield in the general area where he was killed. William E. Cundy and James L. Brown, soldiers from Company E of the 1st Minnesota, helped the grief stricken Patrick bury his brother. Patrick inscribed his brother's name on a board and placed it at the head of the grave. The final entry in Isaac's diary was likely written by Cundy or Brown, as the handwriting is not similar to Patrick's. The entry provides the following details about Isaac's burial:

"The owner of this Diary was killed by a shell about sunset July 2d 1863 — his face was toward the enemy. He is buried 350 paces W. of the road which passes N. and South by the houses of Jacob Hummelbaugh and John Fisher (colored) and about equal distance from each and a mile South of Gettysburg, Penn. The following is inscribed on a board at his head:

I. L. TAYLOR
1st Minn. Vols.
Buried at 10 o'clock A.M. of July 3d 1863
By his brother
SERG P. H. TAYLOR
Co. "E" 1st Min. Vols."

There is no record that Private Taylor's body was ever reinterred in the Gettysburg National Cemetery.


Sources:

Busey, John W. "The Last Full Measure: Burials in the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg," Hightstown, New Jersey, Longstreet House Publishing, 1988.

Jorgenson, Wayne. First Minnesota Infantry researcher and historian.

Moe, Richard. "The Last Full Measure: The Life and Death of the First Minnesota Volunteers," Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1993, p. 277.

Wolf, Hazel C., ed. "Campaigning with the First Minnesota - A Civil War Diary." Minnesota History Magazine, 25:361.


Family Members


See more Taylor memorials in:

  • Created by: Cindy K. Coffin
  • Added: 4 Apr 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 35524609
  • Alan S. Kaufman
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for PVT Isaac L. Taylor (23 Jan 1837–2 Jul 1863), Find A Grave Memorial no. 35524609, ; Maintained by Cindy K. Coffin (contributor 47084179) Non-Cemetery Burial, who reports a Buried on the Gettysburg Battlefield; not reinterred and not buried at Gettysburg National Cemetery.