Civil War Discharge papers of William Taylor

Civil War Discharge papers of  William M. Taylor

Submitted by Larry & Mary Ann Corder 

United States Army William M. Taylor “Certificate of Discharge”

” To all whom it may concern” 

Know Ye that William M. Taylor, a Private of Captain Hamilton Willis Co. E, 5th Regiment of West Virginia Infantry Volunteers.

He was invited on the ninth day of August, one thousand eight hundred and sixty one, to serve three years during the war and is hereby discharged from the service of the United States, this fourth day of October 1864 at Wheeling W. Va. by reason of expiration of term of service. (No objection to his being re-enlisted is known to exist.)

Said William M. Taylor was born in Rockbridge County in the the State of West Virginia, is thirty years of age, six feet high, light complexion, gray eyes, light hair and by occupation when enrolled, a school teacher.

–Given at Wheeling, West Virginia this fourth day of October, 1864. (A.G.O. No. 99)


Co. “E” 5th Va. Vol. Infantry, stated that he was paid in full $100.00 bounty and a Civil War Medal. An honorable discharge medal was issued to William M. Taylor who may have died, never knowing that he had received the recognition, therefore never claiming the medal.

The compiler of this family history (Mary Ann Corder) contacted the West Virginia Department of Archives and History, thereby securing the medal for her husband, Larry Corder, who is the great great grandson of the recipient. Documentation was submitted to prove ancestry. It was by chance that I found the Civil War Discharge records for Wm. Taylor while doing research on the Lawrence Co. Ohio site on the Internet. Knowing that he was a teacher and that he was born in Rockbridge Co. Virginia, provided further clues that coincided with the military records.

Although he was a resident of Lawrence Co. Ohio, he and many other men, served in a regiment from West Virginia. Over 26,000 medals were made to honor the ancestors years ago. Over 4,000 of the original medals authorized by the 1866 West Virginia Legislature remain unclaimed. The unclaimed medals are stored in the original small cardboard boxes in which they arrived from the maker, A. Demarest of New York, in 1867. Each soldier’s name and unit of service is written on the outside of the box in longhand. Each medal is bronze covered copper and bears the name and regiment of the honored veteran on the milled edge. The medal is suspended by a piece of red, white and blue ribbon, its artistic features equal to the Crimean medal and its cost was not to exceed one dollar each, according to the records.


Pension File for Wm. M. Taylor from The National Archives Department of the Interior—Soldier’s Certificate No. 919919.

General Affidavits testifying to the good character of Wm. M. Taylor were given by the following who all lived in Montebello, Nelson county, Virginia. John C. Painter, 23 T. P. Harvie, 70, Post Master John T. Fauber, no age or occupation given.  Physical disabilities listed by these men in regard to Wm. M. Taylor:

Rheumatism and numbness in left side
Pain in left ankle (formerly dislocated)
nearly totally deaf in left ear and nearly totally blind in left eye
Catarrh in the head  
 this is inflammation of any mucous membrane, e.g. catarrh of the throat. Years ago it was
thought that this liquid ran down from the brain
Bronchitis in the lungs

They all testified that this kept William from doing all manual labor. When asked about his marital status, William said that he was a widower. His first wife was Martha Willis who died at home in 1874 in June. He married a second time [no mention of his wife’s name] on March 1876 at the bride’s home and there is a marriage record at Fincastle, Va. When asked about his living children he told of the following:

  1.  Wm. M. Taylor
  2.  J. W. [Joshua Ward] Taylor
  3.  Mattie A. Taylor.

William was granted a pension of $12 per month to be paid quarterly beginning on 27th March 1901. Even though William lived in Virginia, the pension must have been handled through the state of Ohio where he entered military service. The pension was dropped because of William’s death on 6 March 1905. Notification was given by the Governor of Ohio of his death and that he should not receive any more payments. It did not say where he died but it was probably at his home in Virginia.


The following letter was written by William M. Taylor to his attorney, George E. Lemon. This was to tell him about his life since his discharge from he Civil War and to obtain a pension for his military service. He apparently hired Mr. Lemon to pursue this pension on his behalf. The punctuation and spelling is the same as what he wrote.

Buena Vista, Va. Feb. 21st 1894  Geo. E. Lemon Atty.

In accordance to the enclosed letter from Wm. Lochren Commissioner, I send you the “History” of my disabilities as follows: to wit,—My 1st place of residence since discharge was—Aid Lawrence Co. Ohio, Occupation School-teaching; 1872 as near as I remember I changed my residence to Rockbridge Co. Va. and P.O. address was Fancy Hill Rockbridge Co. Va. and in 1873 I changed residence to Botetourt Co. Va. and P.O. address was Fincastle Botetourt Co. Va. My occupation being school teaching in both these last named places; and in 1889 I changed residence to Amherst Co. Va. occupation was school teaching; and in 1892 I changed residence to Buena Vista Rockbridge Co. Va. and P.O. address is now Buena Vista Va. Occupation teaching school. Teaching school has been my chief occupation before and since War.

Origin of my Disabilities: I was injured at 2nd Bull Run fight as follows: 1st wagon loaded with crackers which I was ordered to bring to the front to my Co. was upset by bad driving, and the principal of load fell on me dislocating my left ankle about the same time a volley of shell and grape(?) came from enemies which scattered our ranks into disorder and compelled all to retreat near the City of Washington. One of the shells exploded near my head which caused profuse bleeding of the nose, blinding my left eye and deafening of left ear. After retreat and treatment of my Surgeon Doc Randal I was sent under care and charge of Sergt. Archibald Pack of Co. F to Trinity Hospital in Washington City—I do not remember Surgeons name but after about 2 weeks I was ordered to report to my Regt. not far from the city which I did feeling very much disabled. I however was treated in my Regt. by Doc Randal, and become able to march with my Regt. but never became perfectly sound any more to this date 1894, Feb. 21st.  I cannot remember the different places of action else I would detail all. Medical treatment since discharge:

I was honorably discharged at Wheeling West Va. as near as I remember Oct. 4th 1864 after a service of over 3—three years, or during War, receiving a Money Bounty of $100 which after I went home to Aid Tsp. in Lawrence Co. Ohio I chiefly spent with my family and Doc Geo. Shattuck (who is now dead) to establish my health as far as he was able which he did but told me my injuries received in the War would never be overcome but that if I followed school teaching I would be able to treat my self and pay for Doctor Bills. I have thus far done so, but since 1890 I have failed, and now I am under care and treatment of Doctor Merriwether. I cannot do any manual labor. My injuries in the War are the sole cause of my inability now to proceed in my occupation of teaching school.

Wm. M. Taylor, 1st Serg’t—Co. E, 5th W.Va. Infantry