My Union Ancestor
Co. F, 15th Michigan Infantry
4 x great-granduncle of Tad D. Campbell, PCinC
Abbott Taylor was born in Warren County, New Jersey on July 16, 1812, the son Abraham and Mary Ann Taylor. On September 20, 1834, he married Nancy Lowery, and they had at least four children, namely: Barney, Phoebe A., John L., and Lowery E. Along with other members of the Taylor family, Abbott and Nancy moved to Oakland County, Michigan in the 1830s, where he worked as a farmer.
Nancy (Lowery) Taylor died about 1846-1849. On June 12, 1849, Abbott Taylor married Catherine Van Tafflin at Addison, Oakland County, Michigan. This union resulted in at least one child, Frederick Taylor, born about 1850. What became of his second wife is not known at this time, but Abbott Taylor again married in 1855 at Pontiac, Michigan to Elizabeth Lacroix. By his third wife, Abbott had children Sidney, William W., and Eliza.
On December 13, 1861, at the relatively advanced age of 49 years old, Abbott Taylor enlisted in the U.S. Army at Oakland, Michigan. On January 29th, 1862 he was mustered in as a Private in Company F, 15th Michigan Infantry. He was described as being about five feet, seven inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, with a light complexion, gray hair, and blue eyes.
The regiment left its rendezvous at Monroe, Michigan on March 27, 1862 and arrived at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee just in time to participate in the bloody battle of Shiloh, where the Union forces were commanded by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. The regiment was attached to Gen. Rosseau's brigade during the engagement and suffered a loss of 33 killed and 64 wounded. It was a severe experience for troops who were but so recently organized, but the regiment fought with the steadiness of veterans and received the most complimentary notice in orders from the brigade commander for conspicuous gallantry.
During the fighting at Shiloh on April 6th, Private Abbott Taylor was among the wounded. He received three separate gunshot wounds. The first ball struck Taylor on the left side, resulting in a fractured rib. A second ball struck him on the left side of his head, just behind the ear, and remained buried there for the rest of his life. The third wound occurred when a nearly spent musket ball stuck him in the right side of the groin, thus causing a severe inguinal hernia. Thomas M. Brady, the Captain of Taylor's company, saw the Private fall and thought surely that he had been killed. Captain Brady later remarked that he was very much surprised to see him alive the next day. Taylor was treated for his wounds, as well as chronic diarrhea, at various hospitals until he received a disability discharge at camp near Bolivar, Tennessee on August 3, 1862.
Upon returning to his private life, Abbott Taylor found himself severely disabled as a result of his wounds. On May 19, 1863 he applied for a pension from the U.S. Government, which he was granted on August 3rd. His condition steadily deteriorated until 1870, when he became completely disabled and unable to perform any manual labor.
Abbott's head wound resulted in deafness in one ear, as well as catarrh, which eventually lead to blindness in his right eye and significantly reduced sight in the left eye. He could only see best during twilight hours.
The more severe injury however was the wound to his groin. The resulting hernia was of a very severe nature, and was described as being eight inches in length and thirteen inches in circumference, and at times much larger. One examining doctor stated that it was the largest hernia he had ever seen. The hernia could not be restrained through the use of a truss and interfered with walking and labor of any kind. Taylor was required to use a cane and could not be on his feet for more than a few minutes at a time. The hernia frequently became extended and strangulated, resulting in great pain, nausea, and vomiting, and nearly resulting in his death on several occasions. A number of times surgical assistance was required to replace the hernia.
After the war, Abbott Taylor lived in the Michigan counties of Lapeer, Macomb and Oakland. His last years were spent living with his daughter Phoebe at Northville, Wayne Co., Michigan, where he died on December 6, 1900 at the age of 88 years. His remains were buried in the Kline Cemetery in Oakland County.
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