Michigan in the Civil War

Browse by Name: Taylor, Edward Henry Courtney

Taylor, Edward Henry Courtney, 1840-

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Typescripts of sixty-six letters (1860-1864) written to members of his family in Geneva, New York. In these letters he goes into great detail in his criticism of President Lincoln and the Administration in regard to military strategy and choice of leaders. The exception is McClellan in whom he has great faith and on whom he lavishes much praise. He makes a cautious appraisal of Burnside but is especially harsh in his criticism of Hooker. Abolitionists are equally lambasted. There are brief accounts of battles in which he participated such as Hanover Court House, Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill, Shepherdstown Ford, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. He airs his views on Negroes as soldiers, describes the southern people and the countryside and its devastation, and touches on such topics as picket duty, camp quarters; food, sutlers, weather, marches and skirmishes. He is always hoping the home folks will be able to help him obtain a commission. Taylor, from Detroit, Mich., enlisted in Company A, 4th Michigan Infantry, in June, 1861. He became sergeant major in June, 1863, was wounded in action in May 1864, and mustered out at the expiration of his term in June 1864.

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