(1826–1879) Confederate army officer. Born near Louisville, Kentucky, Richard Taylor was the son of future President Zachary Taylor. The younger Taylor graduated from Yale in 1845, and accompanied his father at the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma during the early days of the Mexican War (1846–48). After a prolonged illness he became active in Democratic politics in Louisiana, was a delegate to the state secession convention, and was appointed colonel of the 9th Louisiana Infantry Regiment. Taylor was Jefferson Davis's brother-in-law, but demonstrated considerable military skill to earn his promotions. He served under Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley and with Robert E. Lee during the Seven Days'Battles, before being promoted to major general and taking command of the District of West Louisiana. Though often ill, he kept Benjamin Butler bottled up in New Orleans and turned back Nathaniel P. Banks' advance up the Red River in 1864. He briefly retired after clashing with his superior Gen. E. Kirby Smith, but in August 1864 was promoted to lieutenant general and put in charge of the Department of East Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. His command was the last Confederate force east of the Mississippi when he surrendered on May 4, 1865.
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.