The Story of Charles M. Taylor, Private, CSA
Twin Cemeteries is a very appropriate name for this place that we, as descendants, hold so dear.  There are two cemeteries within sight of each other on a rise overlooking Wahalak Creek.  The first of the cemeteries, which is the older of the two, has one large marker with several names on it.  There are only three individual markers in this cemetery.

Two of those individual headstones mark the resting place of Ira Byrd Taylor and his first wife, Hannah Ellis Adams Taylor.  The Taylor family Bible shows that Ira Byrd and Hannah had six children.  One of those children, a boy named William, died as a small baby.  A daughter, Margret Easter, grew to adulthood, married and had children before she died at a very young age. 

Three of the Taylor children married children of James and Mary Vaughn.  Mary Ann Nancy Taylor married William Vaughn.  John Ira Taylor married Mary Vaughn.  And Lavicey Jane Luvinia Taylor married Joseph Vaughn, James and Mary’s youngest son.  And so we have a very tight interweaving between the Vaughn  and the Taylor families.

I would like to tell you about Ira Byrd and Hannah Taylor’s sixth child.  He was actually the first born of their children, but the one that was the least known.  CharlesMonteville, according to an entry in the Bible, was born September 2, 1843.  He was in his parent’s home at the time of the 1850 and the 1860 census and then he vanished. 

A family historian said that Charles M. “went through the Civil War.”  The National Park Service data base of U. S. Civil War Soldiers said that Charles M. Taylor entered the army as a private and left as a private.  This gave hope that he might have survived that terrible time in history.  But it was not so.

John Ira Taylor and his wife Mary Mollie
(Jim and Mary Vaughn's daughter)

Two weeks before his 18th birthday on August 17, 1861,  Charles Monteville Taylor was mustered into Captain R. O. Perrin’s Company of Mississippi Cavalry.  This company later became Company C, Jeff Davis Legion of Cavalry.  In later years, descendants of the Taylor family remember their love of fine horses.  And apparently Charles M. had that trait at a young age, as he brought into service with him a horse that the army valued at $225.   At that time, that was no doubt considered a goodly sum of money.  Standard pay for a private at that time was $11 per month, due to be paid every two months.  Records show that Charles M. usually received an extra $3-5 per pay period with the notation, “Pay for use and risk of horse.”  Charles M. joined the service on August 17.  His first muster roll record shows the following note: “Pay due for man from September 1 and horse from 20 July, 1861.”  Evidently Charles M.’s horse started drawing pay before he did!!

John Ira Taylor
Charles Monteville Taylor's Brother
Charles M. seemed a good and loyal soldier, as the muster reports show he was always present until he was sent to a hospital in Staunton, Virginia, on October 16, 1862.  A study of the unit’s history shows no battle at that time so it is possible that he was just sick.  However, it must have been a serious illness, as he did not rejoin his unit until February, 1863.  The next report of significance was for June 21,  1863.  At that time, the Jeff Davis Legion, considered by present day historians as an “elite cavalry unit,” was under the command of Brig. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart as part of the Army of Northern Virginia.  Stuart was given the task of shielding General Robert E. Lee’s movement toward Gettysburg.  Charles M. Taylor took part in the fighting at a small place called Upperville, about thirty miles or so west of present day Washington, D. C.  His company muster roll shows that he was wounded and taken prisoner that day.  He was nineteen years old and he received a saber cut to his head and a carbine ball shot to his left arm.

The next day he was moved to an army hospital twenty miles closer to Washington at Aldie, Virginia.  He stayed there only one day and then was sent into D. C. to the Stanton U. S. A. General Hospital.  He remained there until August 1 when he was transferred to the Lincoln U. S. A. General Hospital also in Washington, D. C.  On August 23 he was sent to Baltimore, Maryland, where he was transferred to the Prisoner of War camp at Point Lookout, Maryland.

Point Lookout P.O.W. Camp where Chales M. Taylor
was held prisoner and where he died.

A note about Point Lookout P.O.W. camp.  It had just been started at this time and Charles M. would have been one of its first prisoners.  In time, Point Lookout became known as one of the Union’s worst prison camps.  John Vaughn, son of James and Mary Vaughn, was imprisoned there at the time the Civil War ended.

Charles M. Taylor survived more than three months at Point Lookout until he was admitted to the Smallpox Hospital at the camp on November 25, 1863.  He died there on December 5, 1863.  He had survived a gunshot wound and a saber cut to his head and so he was a tough, brave young man.  But he died of smallpox just a few days before Christmas when he was just barely twenty years old and a long way from home and family.

Almost exactly one year later, Charles M. Taylor was cited for bravery at the Battle of Upperville.
One final note:  the prison camp established a cemetery for the burial of soldiers who died there.  Only about five years after the war ended, the site began to slide toward Chesapeake Bay.  The state of Maryland moved the bodies at that time.  In 1910 they were moved again to the present mass grave.  There are twelve bronze tablets with the names and military units of those buried there.  One of the names on a tablet is C. M. Taylor of Company C, Jeff Davis Miss. Legion.  I am proud that you are a part of my family, Charles M. Taylor.

Content Contributed by:  Rochelle Higginbotham, Tennessee

This page provides more details about the Taylor family in America and in Mississippi and their  ties to the Vaughns. It is an ongoing project so please check back for added content in the future.  If you have information of interest to offer as contect, please contact us at twincemetery.org@gmail.com