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  • Writer's pictureKirk Jenkins

Colonel Marion C. Taylor of the Fifteenth Kentucky

Colonel Marion Taylor was born October 30, 1822, in Ohio County, Kentucky, the son of Nicholas Curlet Taylor and Eliza Statler. During his youth, Colonel Taylor served as postmaster for several counties in the Green River Basin and worked for a time as a ferryman on the Green River. He enrolled at St. Mary’s College but soon ran short of money; he was allowed to finish the course anyway. After his graduation, Colonel Taylor taught in Shelby County and began to study law. Taylor was eventually licensed to practice law and entered practice in Shelbyville. Colonel Taylor’s first military experience came with a military expedition to Cuba in 1850. While there, he wrote a diary, which has since been published by the Kentucky Historical Society. Colonel Taylor was involved in politics for several years before the war, first as a Whig, then, after a brief flirtation with the Know-Nothing Party, as a Democrat. He was elected the first county attorney of Shelby County and was elected to the state legislature as a Democrat in August 1853. Colonel Taylor sought election in 1860 as a Kentucky presidential elector for Stephen Douglas. Taylor organized Company A of the Fifteenth Kentucky Volunteers in Shelby County and marched the company into camp at the Fair Grounds on September 23, 1861. He was elected captain of the company. On January 1, 1863, following the death of Col. James Brown Forman on the morning of December 31, 1862, Taylor was named colonel of the Fifteenth. Taylor was commander of the post of Chattanooga from mid-December 1863 through February 15, 1864. Taylor was wounded at the Battle of Resaca, May 14, 1864. During May and July 1864, Taylor commanded the left wing of the brigade and commanded the brigade itself briefly in August. In September 1864, Taylor was in charge of the train guards for the Chattanooga & Atlanta Railroad. During the following two months, Taylor commanded the post of Bridgeport. After the war, Taylor reentered the practice of law in Shelbyville and ran for Congress twice as a Republican. Taylor served on the Republican State Central Committee for a number of years until his death in Shelbyville on January 5, 1871. Taylor was a lifelong bachelor and was survived by his sister, Mrs. Margaret Taylor Harbison. He is buried in Grove Hill Cemetery, Shelby County, Kentucky.

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