Thomas Taylor (Medal of Honor)

Last updated
Thomas Taylor
Born 1834
Bangor, Maine
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Coxswain
Unit USS Metacomet
Battles/wars American Civil War
  Battle of Mobile Bay
Awards Medal of Honor

Thomas Taylor (born 1834, date of death unknown) was a Union Navy sailor in the American Civil War and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions at the Battle of Mobile Bay.

Union Navy United States Navy during the American Civil War

The Union Navy was the United States Navy (USN) during the American Civil War, when it fought the Confederate States Navy (CSN). The term is sometimes used carelessly to include vessels of war used on the rivers of the interior while they were under the control of the United States Army, also called the Union Army.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

Medal of Honor United States of Americas highest military honor

The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest and most prestigious personal military decoration that may be awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor. The medal is normally awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress. Because the medal is presented "in the name of Congress", it is often referred to informally as the "Congressional Medal of Honor". However, the official name of the current award is "Medal of Honor." Within the United States Code the medal is referred to as the "Medal of Honor", and less frequently as "Congressional Medal of Honor". U.S. awards, including the Medal of Honor, do not have post-nominal titles, and while there is no official abbreviation, the most common abbreviations are "MOH" and "MH".

Born in 1834 in Bangor, Maine, Taylor was still living in that city when he joined the Navy. He served during the Civil War as a coxswain on the USS Metacomet. At the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864, he "encouraged the men of the forward pivot gun when the officer in command displayed cowardice". For this action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor a year later on June 22, 1865. [1] [2]

Bangor, Maine City in Maine, United States

Bangor is a city in the U.S. state of Maine, and the county seat of Penobscot County. The city proper has a population of 33,039 and is commonly referred to as the "Vegas" of the Northeast, while the Bangor metropolitan area has a population of 153,746.

The coxswain is the person in charge of a boat, particularly its navigation and steering. The etymology of the word gives a literal meaning of "boat servant" since it comes from cock, a cockboat or other small vessel kept aboard a ship, and swain, an Old English term derived from the Old Norse sveinn meaning boy or servant.

USS <i>Metacomet</i> (1863)

The second USS Metacomet was a wooden sidewheel steamer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War. The ship was named for Metacomet, a war chief of the Wampanoag Indians.

Taylor's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

Served on board the U.S.S. Metacomet during the action against rebel forts and gunboats and with the rebel ram Tennessee in Mobile Bay, 5 August 1864. Despite damage to his ship and the loss of several men on board as enemy fire raked her decks, Taylor encouraged the men of the forward pivot gun when the officer in command displayed cowardice, doing honor to the occasion. [2]

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References

  1. "Thomas Taylor". Hall of Valor. Military Times . Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  2. 1 2 "Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients (M–Z)". Medal of Honor Citations. United States Army Center of Military History. June 26, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2012.