ALS Charles Frederick Taylor, Kane’s First Rifle Regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps (13th Reserves “Bucktails”) Killed July 2nd, 1863 at Gettysburg

Having owned several Taylor letters, this is the one we kept in our collection because of the wonderful content… and the only one in which he actually mentions the “Bucktails”. It is also great that he signs his full name, instead of just “Charles”. Taylor is writing home to his Mother, at sunrise on Thanksgiving day, November 29th, 1862. 

• Picket Line on the Rappahannock November 29, 1862. Sunrise 

• My dear Mother: I wish you could see me this glorious morning, sitting on a log before a roaring fire while a party of hungry bucktails are preparing their breakfasts of black coffee, crackers, and beef toasted on the ends of sticks…

• …on the opposite side of the fire. I have just had a luxurious breakfast of coffee, crackers, and toasted cheese and now take as much comfort from my cigar as a king. 

• The first faint rays of the rising sun crimson my paper, and the perfect stillness at this moment makes every sound from the distant camps ring out upon the ear. 

• I slept on a bed of small pine boughs with a shelter of larger ones, my feet to the fire, one blanket under me and one over me, and although the ground froze hard during the night, I have got up feeling bright and refreshed and even cured of a slight cough I had. 

• This is Thanksgiving Day you know, and I had expected to eat a very good dinner by invitation at General Reynold’s Headquarters, but an order came yesterday afternoon for my Regiment to go on picket, and we will not be relieved until this evening.  

• I have had many courtesies shown me by the officers of the Corps since my return [Taylor had been captured on June 6th, 1862 at Harrisonburg, Va. when he stayed with wounded Col. Thomas Kane], but there is nothing I have felt more than the cheerful obedience of the brave men I command, and the pleasure they seem to take in throwing me acts of kindness.  

• I have had no word from home for at least three weeks and don’t know how to account for it. The mail comes to us daily now. Please write me as often as you can. I send much love to all. Ever affectionately, Charles Frederick Taylor 

Taylor was made Colonel of the 42nd Pa. on March 1st, 1863 and was killed July 2nd, 1863 leading his men at Gettysburg. 

The letter is 2 pages written in ink on small stationery 3 ½ x 6 inches. A wonderful example of a true Gettysburg hero. 

#L11-29-62PA – Price $795