From “Family History of the Joseph Taylor, Jr. and Sarah Best Family”
By Shari H. Franke
Wesley Taylor, son of Joseph Best Taylor and Polly Amm Hudnall, was born 22
September 1824, near Richardsville, Warren, Kentucky, where he grew to manhood.
He became a farmer and at the age of 21 years, married Marcia Ann Floyd on 27
January 1846, at Warren County, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Enoch Floyd,
who gave his consent. Gideon Floyd was bondsman. (Note: Family Bible record
states they were married on 17 January, and Warren County record indicates they
were married 26 January.) To this union were born ten children, eight sons and
When war was declared between the States, James Wesley enlisted in 1861 at age
37 in the Union Army at Bowling Green and was made First Sergeant to Captain
William R. Willis, Company G, 11th Regiment of Kentucky Infantry Volunteers
and served until the end of the war. In the latter days of his life, James Wesley
told some of his experiences in the war when visitors came to his home. The
first major battle in which he took part was at Pittsburg Landing, sometimes
called Shiloh, where the Union forces were defeated in the first day's fighting;
however, on the second day, recruits from what were known as Tennessee and Kentucky
Riflemen were sent up and repulsed the Confederates with severe losses. The
Regiment to which James W. was attached later became a part of General Sherman's
Army in his movement to cut communications between the North and South and it
was during this engagement that James W. was captured, and made a prisoner of
war. The incident of his capture was as follows: Riding a horse into a stream
to fill canteens he saw three horsemen approaching but noticing they wore the
blue uniform of the Union soldiers, he made no attempt to escape; however, the
uniforms were borrowed from former captives and through this guise, James W.
was taken prisoner. First, he was sent to Libby Prison near Richmond, Virginia,
where a tunnel had been dug under the wall so prisoners could escape. Upon discovery
of this escape route, the Libby prisoners were taken to Andersonville Prison,
where James W. remained until the end of the war, a total of 16 1/2 months.
During his imprisonment he contracted a bronchial ailment from which he never
fully recovered. When the war ended and prisoners were being released, a group
gathered at the gate to await its opening. They heard the strains of "Home Sweet
Home", whereupon some shouted, some prayed, while others fell to the ground,
overcome with emotion. They were then marched to waiting freight cars on a siding
and taken to Louisville, Kentucky to be mustered out and sent home. Upon arrival
at Louisville, their tattered clothing was stripped from their emaciated bodies,
they were bathed, given new uniforms, fed and released, on 21 March 1865.
Marcia Ann Floyd was born in 1828 at Warren County, Kentucky, the daughter of
Enoch Floyd and Susan Lee. Marcia Ann died 26 July 1872, at Threlkel (Taylor
Port), Butler, Kentucky. She was buried at the Taylor Cemetery off Kill Shed
Road on the Joe Taylor farm (later belonging to Cleot Gabbard), Butler, Kentucky.
Wesley Taylor and Marcia Ann Floyd's children were: Atwood, Richard B., Martha
Frances "Fannie", Joseph Everett, Alfred, McClung, Henry Allen, Douglas, Ann
Lee and James Newton Taylor.
living at Butler county, Kentucky, James Wesley Taylor served as a magistrate
for many years.
19 November 1872, he married (2) Louisa Ellen Whalen, at Butler County, Kentucky.
They moved to West Plains, Howell, Missouri in 1875.
Ellen Whalen was born 9 November 1848, near Booneville, Edmonson, Kentucky.
She was the daughter of Christian Whalen and Nancy Young.
Wesley Taylor and Louisa Ellen Whalen's children were: Clara Belle, Sarah J.,
Isa Lena, Florence, Addie May, Albert Davis, Fred W. and Archie Lee Taylor.
Son Fred W. Taylor said in his autobiography about his father. "In the last
two years of my father's life, he was often bedridden and finally on the morning
of 2 November 1901, after calling all members of the family to his bedside,
my brother Archie and I being the last to hear his admonition 'Be good', the
doughty old warrior expired. He was buried the next day in the cemetery in the
northwest corner of the farm which shall always remain in my memory at home.
This now left my mother with three young boys and my sister Addie to manage
the farm. By dint of effort and spartan living, we stayed together. My mother
(Louisa Ellen Whalen) passed away (3 March 1933) at age 84 and was laid to rest
beside the grave of my father."