Joseph Pannell Taylor

Joseph Pannell Taylor, whose brother Zachary was twelfth President of the United States, was born at Springfields, a family estate near Louisville, Kentucky, on May 4, 1796. He enlisted in the ranks on the Canadian border during the United States' second war with Great Britain and was subsequently appointed a second lieutenant of the 28th Infantry on May 20, 1813. Discharged at the close of the war, he was shortly reinstated in the army and during the next forty-five years pursued the painfully slow advance in rank which fell to the lot of those officers who found themselves in staff positions. However, in the course of the Mexican War, Taylor served as chief commissary of the army in the northern theater of war and was brevetted colonel in 1848 for "meritorious conduct particularly in performing his duties in prosecuting the war with Mexico." From November, 1841, until September, 1861, he was assistant commissary general of subsistence with the rank of lieutenant colonel. When Colonel George Gibson died in September, after forty-three years in office, Taylor succeeded him as commissary general. On February 9, 1863, the office of commissary general was changed to provide for the rank of staff brigadier general and Taylor was accordingly commissioned as such. He discharged the duties of his department until his death on June 29, 1864. His nephew Richard was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army and his niece Sara Knox was the first wife of Jefferson Davis. General Taylor was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Georgetown.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.