This post is part of the Donohoo Descendancy Project. Marsh B. Taylor was the husband of Sudie Bishop, the daughter of Sarah Ann (Donohoo) Bishop, and the granddaughter of Patrick and Sarah (Thornbury) Donohoo.


Read Part I here

Read Part II here


The Union army sustained one of its most significant defeats at the Battle of Chickamauga, on September 19-20, 1863. [14] The Tenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry engaged in this battle along with numerous other regiments. Colonel William B. Carroll of the 10th was killed in action the morning of  the 19th, leaving Lieutenant Colonel Marsh B. Taylor as acting Colonel. [1, page 229-230]
The following lengthy account written by Corporal W.H. Wiley, Company A, Tenth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, exposes the emotional and trying scenes of war. Although the overall battle resulted in defeat, many men gave their best and most valiant service, including acting Colonel Marsh B. Taylor.
“On the morning of the 20th (Sunday) there was a heavy fog hanging over the surrounding country. It seemed as if all the smoke of the battle of the previous day had gathered in that vicinity.

After being allowed plenty of time to make coffee and eat breakfast the order was given to “fall in.” Our division moved to the front about a quarter of a mile into a strip of woods, lying between the open ground. where we had slept during the night and the Lafayette and Chattanooga road.

Across the road and extending for some distance to both right and left was an open field, perhaps forty rods wide. Still further to the right and south was the Poe house, and beyond that the Brotherton farm. Our line was formed along a ridge sloping to the east and beyond the field in our front. In our rear the slope extended back through the woods and to the field where we had spent the night before. The front line of our brigade consisted of the Seventy-fourth lndiana on our left and the Tenth Indiana on the right, and Southwick’s Battery (C) First Ohio Light ArtilIery, commanded by Lieutenant M.B. Gary, on the right of the Tenth Indiana. Our second line consisted of the Tenth Kentucky in rear of the Tenth Indiana. and the Fourteenth Ohio to the right of the Fourth Kentucky. Connell’s Brigade (First) was still further on our right. The Thirty-first Ohio in front of and overlapping the Fourteenth Ohio. Vanderyeer‘s Bridage (Third) was held as reserves in the rear. To the right of Connell’s Brigade was stationed Wood‘s Division of Crittenden’s Corps (Twenty-first), and to the left of our brigade was Reynolds’ Division of Thomas’ Fourteenth Corps.

Soon after forming lines as above we were ordered to construct such breastworks as we were able, of material at hand. We had no spades, shovels or picks to work with, but it was not long until we had quite a line of works made of logs. chunks, rails and whatever was loose. When completed these works did not look very formidable, but they served to stop many a Rebel bullet that might have found a stopping place in some brave boy‘s head.

Company A, Captain T. A. Cobb, was ordered to support the battery just on our right. They were ordered to lie down under the muzzles of the guns and not fire until the battery was charged by the enemy. The lines were now formed and everything was ready for the assault of the Rebel columns, which we knew would come sooner or later.

Not a shot had been fired up to this time. The silence was oppressive. Every man felt that the work of the day before, was mere child’s play to what was to be today. It must have been 10 o’clock when away to our left we hear the report of a single musket. Then another, two, three, half a dozen, and it deepens into a continual roar. Soon the artillery opens on both sides. Their shells explode far to the rear, which shows their range is bad. But this is soon corrected, as is shown by their being but a short interval from the report of the gun to the explosion of the shell. This does not last long.

There is a lull of a few seconds and then the Rebel yell. The artillery opens again but not with shell this time. The report of the guns show that they are using grape and cannister. We know but too well what this means -they are trying to turn our left. That once accomplished and the day is lost to us. Baird’s Division is on our extreme left and he was being sorely pressed. He sent to General Thomas for reinforcements. Vanderveer’s Brigade, lying in our rear, is called into action. He was ordered to report to Baird, but he never obeyed the order.

As he swung his men in line at the southwest corner of Kelly’s field. he was met by victorious Rebels who had already passed Baird’s left and were in his rear. No time to report to Baird. No time to wait for orders. The four grand old regiments, the Ninth and Thirty-fifth Ohio, Second Minnesota and Eighty-seventh lndiana, are equal to the occasion. They never halt.

At them they went with a shout, beside which the Rebel yell dwindles into insignificance in comparison with it. On they went with an irresistible force that no Rebel troops can stand. They drive them back beyond Baird’s left and enable him to straighten out his line again. But the battle is not over, even in this part of the field. There is only a partial cessation of the firing. The enemy are evidently preparing to renew the assault. They bring up fresh troops and again the Rebel yell is heard. But they do not swing around Baird‘s left this time. Vandeveer’s four regiments are still there. The firing is again terrific front both sides The Rebels are not making much headway this time and are soon compelled to retire.

Fresh troops are again hurled against our left, only to retire shattered and broken. It is now evident that the commanders of the Rebel forces are making a serious mistake. They are not making a concerted attack on our line at once, but seem to be striking with not more than a brigade or two at a time. Had they hurled their whole right wing against our left, the consequences to us would have been fearful to contemplate.

Finally there is almost a total cessation of firing from both sides. which shows the enemy to have given up the idea of turning our left or are preparing to strike our lines at some other point.


It now seemed as if the enemy had abandoned the idea of trying to turn our left, which had been their object up to this time. Bragg ascribes their failure to attain that point to the fact that Polk, who was in command of the Rebel right, refused to obey his (Bragg’s) orders; that his orders were to strike our left with his whole force at 6 o’clock in the morning, but instead of doing that he waited until near ten, thus giving our forces ample time to construct their rude fortifications and prepare to the more effectually repel their assault when it was made, and also instead of striking with his whole force as ordered, he only sent in a brigade or two or perhaps a division at a time which permitted Rosecrans to concentrate his forces the more effectually against him.

It seemed as if the enemy had now changed their plan and were feeling for a weak place in our lines. Their next assault sounded much closer to us than at first. It seemed to commence about the same way as the other. After trying two or three times to charge our lines, only to meet the same fate, the attempt was given up at that point. Nearer and nearer the tide of battle rolls to us. First a few scattering shots, then the deafening roar and still louder belching double shotted cannon as they mow wide swaths with grape and cannister through the charging, yelling, Rebel lines. Soon the answering yell comes from our side and we know that the enemy have been driven back again with fearful slaughter. Still further south the battle rolls. This time it is the left of Reynolds’ Division that receives the shock. It is only a repetition of former charges. The deafening roar, the Rebel yell, a sheet of flame leaps from the line of hastily constructed works. The enemy’s line seems to melt away and the ground is thickly strewn with dead and dying. Rosecrans seeing that Reynolds‘ lines are sorely pressed orders Wood, who is on his right to close up on him (Reynolds) and support him, forgetting that our division (Brannon’s) is between the two.

Wood, still smarting under a reprimand received from Rosecrans a short time before for refusing to blindly obey an order, pulls his whole division out of line, marches in rear of Brannon and partly to rear of Reynolds, thus leaving a gap in our lines the width of a whole division. The blind obedience of an order on the part of Wood lost the Battle of Chickamauga to us.

Quiet again reigns in our front. A sergeant of the battery which Company A was supporting mounts one of the guns and looking over our breastworks and down the slope into the woods beyond sees a large force of the enemy marching by the left flank to our right. In an instant these guns are charged with shell and open a terrific roar right over us. The Rebels change their course by the right flank and start for our lines.

It is our turn now, on they come firing and yelling at every step. The two regiments composing the front line of our brigade have orders not to fire until they come within about seventy yards of our front. On they come, it seems with an irrestible force. The fatal line is passed and a sheet of flame the width of these two regiments is poured right in their faces. They are too close now for the battery to use shell to any advantage. Their guns are double charged with grape and cannister. No troops can long withstand such a fire. Again they give way as on former attempts and fall back out of range of our guns.

But soon they come again only to meet the same fate as before, and they again fall back. All this time the terrible gap in our lines by the withdrawal of Wood’s Division is still open. They next charge to our right and they find what they have been hunting for—a weak place in our lines. In an instant, it seems the whole left wing of the Rebel army, under the command of Longstreet is pouring through that gap. The sound of battle on our left, terrible as it had been, dwindles into insignificance in comparison to the pandemonium that has broken loose on our right. Connell’s Brigade on our right soon gives away. The Thirty-first Ohio on our immediate right stand against this mighty storm, but for a moment, and is swept away. We are now left exposed with the battery we are supporting on the extreme right, with it seems the whole Southern Confederacy pouring through our right and rear. The guns of the battery are turned to the right to enfilade the Rebel lines with grape and cannister as they pass through the line of battle, but a short distance to our right, but on they go. We can see them swing around in our rear. Another line is forming in the rear of their front line and fronting our battery, they are coming for Southwick’s guns. There are Rebels in our front and in our rear, a few minutes more it will be over with us and we will all start for Andersonville—not yet. Lieut. Colonel Marsh B. Taylor, commanding the Tenth Indiana, in that shrill, piping voice, gives the command “About face, fix bayonets, to the left oblique, charge!” and away we go at those follows in our rear and not only check them but drive them back for a time. Lieutenant Gary seeing that his only chance for escape asks Captain Cobb to assist his men in running his guns off by hand, as the Rebel line on our right is so close that it would be impossible to bring up the limber. We take hold of the guns and run five of them back down the slope to where the caissons and limbers are so that they can hitch what few horses they have left to them and they are saved. We dismount the other gun, take out the linch pins and throw them away. After helping save the battery the most of Company A rejoined the regiment, where they were engaged with the enemy in the rear of and at a right angle with our former position.


They are formed along the edge of a field and are firing at a rebel line coming down across the field to the north. Soon the command is given to retreat and the Tenth and Seventy-fourth Indiana, under command of Colonel Taylor, fall back and form on the right of Reynolds at the southwest corner of Kelley’s field, Colonel Croxton having been wounded, the rest of the brigade in command of Colonel Hays of the Tenth Kentucky, joined the rest of the division on Snodgrass Hill.

We were not engaged again during the day. At this time the firing had almost ceased and to all appearances the battle was over…

But the battle was not over. Thomas and Brannon are still there as are many others of lesser rank. Firing to the southwest of our position that their advance is being resisted in that quarter. Our men seem to be falling back for a time.

The firing increases as it goes further north. By the time it is directly west of us it has increased to an awful roar. The belching of the artillery shows that it is on much higher ground than occupied by us. This is the beginning of the fight on Snodgrass Hill. Brannan, with the remainder of his broken and shattered division, is the first to occupy this position. It is not long until he is joined by Vandeveer with his four regiments. Other troops swing in on his right and left. Thomas sees at a glance that this is the only chance to save the army from destruction. If this position can be held the army may be saved. Regiments and brigades as they are rallied come to his assistance. Longstreet knows if he can carry this point then the day is won.

The roar of the battle is increasing all the time. At last the Rebel yell and know they are charging our lines. They are driven back with terrible loss, only to return to the charge to he hurled back as before, The ridge on which Thomas is making his last stand, is cut in two by a ravine running to the north.
Longstreet soon sees this and is not long taking advantage of it. He sends a strong force through this ravine to get in Thomas’ rear. Thomas has no troops to spare to meet this move. He knows that if that is accomplished either slaughter or surrender awaits him. A cloud of dust is approaching from the north. Is it friends or another move of the enemy? If the former the army may yet he saved. if the latter then all is lost. Soon they emerge from the timber and the Stars and Stripes come in sight. It is part of the reserve corps under Granger. Thomas points out to him this force getting in his rear. His force consists of two brigades of Steedman’s Division. This officer seizes the colors of a regiment and calls on his men to follow him at the same time a battery is placed in position to rake the enemy’s forces with grape and cannister, They cannot long withstand this onslaught of fresh troops and are soon driven back through the ravine through which they came. The danger is now over from this quarter. They will not try it again. Another charge is made in front only to meet the same fate of former charges, Our men are out of ammunition by this time, some of them having fired their last cartridge. The order is given to fix bayonets. The enemy returns to the charge again to he met by a counter charge from our side with cold steel. They are not expecting this and fall back in great disorder. This ends the Battle of Chickamauga. We were the first troops to engage on Saturday morning and the last to leave Sunday evening. [1, page 230-235]

The official report of Lieut. Colonel Myron Baker, Seventy-fourth Indiana confirmed the statement that the Tenth and Seventy-fourth Indiana were the last regiments off of the field on the night of the 20th, also that Colonel Marsh B. Taylor had command of the two regiments:

“Headquarters Seventy-fourth Indiana.

2nd Brigade. 3rd Division, 14th Army Corps

Chattanonga. September 25. 1863,

Sir:

About 8 A. M. the Seventy—fourth Indiana with the Tenth Indiana on its immediate right moved to the left and joined on the Seventy-fifth Indiana. the right regiment of Reynolds’ Division. The skirmishers moved to the left at the same time covering our front. The Seventy-fourth Indiana occupied a low ridge of ground with an open field in front (in which were some scattered trees) on the extreme left of the second brigade. On the brow of this ridge I caused the men to construct a rude breastworks of logs and rails behind which they could take shelter from the enemy’s musketry and which proved of very great advantage in the subsequent fight. At about 10:30 A. M. the firing which had been very heavy to my left and along the line of Reynolds’ Division, struck my line of battle. I ordered the men to kneel down behind their works and hold their fire until the enemy were within sixty to seventy yards of our line. The companies of skirmishers were soon driven in, but not a shot was fired by us until the Rebels who were charging on tts with a yell had come within seventy yards of us when I ordered the men to rise up and commence firing. The men mostly aimed deliberately and fought with a spirit and determination which could not well be surpassed. for the comparative security and strength of their position, gave them increased confidence.

“The Tenth and Seventy-fourth Indiana held their position, keeping up an incessant and untiring fire until their ammunition was nearly exhausted, when they were ordered to cease firing, fix bayonets, and await the nearer approach of the foe. Twice during this engagement the enemy was thrown into confusion and driven back from before our position. About this time the line to the right of the Tenth Indiana gave way, and the Rebels made their appearance in an open field on the right flank of the Tenth Indiana. Lieut. Colonel Marsh B. Taylor, commanding that veteran regiment, changed his front almost perpendicularly to the rear, and the Seventy-fourth Indiana protected the original line until he had completed that movement, when I faced the regiment by the rear rank and formed line of battle on his right at an acute angle with the original line, and in rear of a fence and some old log buildings. Here the regiment fought until its ammunition was completely exhausted and the Rebels were driven back from the open field over which they were advancing,

“At this time the Tenth and Seventy-fourth Indiana were separated from the rest of the brigade, which had been sent to the right to fill a breach in the line, and Lieutenant Colonel Taylor, being the ranking officer, took command of both regiments. The regiment now moved through the woods toward the left and awaited the arrival of ammunition in an open ground where Hazen’s Brigade was lying behind some log fortifications.
“About 4 P. M. we got a supply of ammunition and occupied a position behind the breastworks. from which Hazen’s Brigade had been witlnlrawn. When the retreat commenced in the evening we were the last to leave that part of the field, and brought away with us one section of artillery which was in rear of all the infantry, except the Tenth and Seventy-fourth Indiana. Those regiments both left that part of the field in good order under a severe artillery fire from the enemy, and halted and formed line of battle facing the enemy on a hill where General Steedman’s Division had been fighting. The Tenth and Seventy-fourth Indiana were the last organized bodies of infantry that left the ground.

About 8:30 P. M. the two regiments moved from that point toward Rossville by the right flank. the Seventy-fourth Indiana in front, followed by the Tenth Indiana.”

Myron C. Baker,
Lieut. Colonel Commanding 74th Indiana Infantry.” [1, page 263-264]
Acting Colonel Marsh B. Taylor’s gallantry at the Battle of Chickamauga was acknowledged Major General George H Thomas:

“Recommend Col. Marsh B. Taylor 10th Ind. Vols. For a position in one of the new Regiments to be organized for the regular service- Testify to his gallant conduct on the late Battlefield.

Head Qrs. Dept. Cumb’d.

Chattanooga Nov. 10th 1863

Respectfully forwarded and approved

Geo H Thomas

Maj. Gen. U.S.V.

Comd’g” [15]


 

Images used in post:

Lieut. Marsh B. Taylor. Shaw, James Birney. History of the Tenth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry: Three Months and Three Years Organizations. Lafayette, Indiana: 1912. Accessed on 25 November 2015 at ­https­://­archive­.­org­/­stream­/­historyoftenthre00inshaw­. Also accessed on 25 November 2015 at ­https­://­books­.­google­.­com­/­books­?­id­=­7K1xAAAAMAAJ­&­num­=­9­. Page 123.

Map of Battle of Chickamauga of the American Civil War, actions on September 20, 1863, part 2. Drawn in Adobe Illustrator CS5 by Hal Jespersen. Graphic source file is available at http://www.posix.com/CWmaps/December 24, 2008. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Accessed at commons.wikimedia.org on 2 January 2016.

Battle of Chickamauga–Sept. 19′ & 20′ 1863–Federal … (Gen. Rosecrans com.) Confederate … (Gen. Bragg com.). Kurz & Allison. c1890. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Catalog Number 91482113. Accessed at loc.gov on 1 January 2016.

 

Sources & Research Notes:
[1] Shaw, James Birney. History of the Tenth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry: Three Months and Three Years Organizations. Lafayette, Indiana: 1912. Accessed on 25 November 2015 at ­https­://­archive­.­org­/­stream­/­historyoftenthre00inshaw­. Also accessed on 25 November 2015 at ­https­://­books­.­google­.­com­/­books­?­id­=­7K1xAAAAMAAJ­&­num­=­9­. Page 104, 123, 153, 156, 176, 177, 186-187, 202, 229-235, 263-264, 275, 276, 298-299, 321-323.

[2] For more information and documentation on the Taylor family, please see my public Ancestry.com tree at http://person.ancestry.com/tree/42516833/person/28884429415/facts.

[3] John Taylor household. US Census Year: 1850; Census Place: Lafayette Ward 5, Tippecanoe, Indiana; Roll: M432_175; Page: 102B; Image: 209. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census ‎[database on-line]‎. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; ‎(National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls)‎; Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[4] John Taylor household. US Census Year: 1860; Census Place: Lafayette, Tippecanoe, Indiana; Roll: M653_300; Page: 901; Image: 573; Family History Library Film: 803300. Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census ‎[database on-line]‎. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

[5] MB Taylor in the household of Geo H Hoy. US Census Year: 1850; Census Place: Calaveras District, Calaveras, California; Roll: M432_33; Page: 162B; Image: 328. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census ‎[database on-line]‎. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; ‎(National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls)‎; Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[6] Marsh B. Taylor. National Park Service. U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 ‎[database on-line]‎. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, online <http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/>, acquired 2007.

[7] Marsh B. Taylor. Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 ‎[database on-line]‎. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009. Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works. Copyright 1997-2009 Historical Data Systems, Inc. PO Box 35 Duxbury, MA 02331.

[8] Marsh B. Taylor. Ancestry.com. Web: Indiana, Civil War Soldier Database Index, 1861-1865 ‎[database on-line]‎. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Civil War. Indiana State Digital Archives. https://secure.in.gov/apps/iara/search/: accessed 2 February 2015.

[9] “Battle of Mills Springs.” Wikipedia. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mill_Springs. Accessed on 2 January 2016.

[10] “The Louisville Journal contains…” The Evansville daily journal. (Evansville, Ia. [i.e. Ind.]) 1848-1862, February 12, 1862, Image 1. Image provided by Indiana State Library. Accessed at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov on 28 December 2015.

[11] “The Times dispatch says…” Daily Ohio statesman. (Columbus, Ohio) 1855-1870, April 05, 1862, Image 3. Image provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH. Accessed at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov on 28 December 2015.

[12] “Credited for Bravery.” Madison Dollar Weekly Star (Madison, Indiana). 5 August 1879. Page 1. Accessed at newspaperarchive.com via myheritage.com on 30 December 2015.

[13] Marsh B. Taylor, WCL Taylor, RJ Taylor. National Archives and Records Administration ‎(NARA)‎; Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records ‎(Provost Marshal General’s Bureau; Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865)‎; Record Group: 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau ‎(Civil War)‎; Collection Name: Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865 ‎(Civil War Union Draft Records)‎; ARC Identifier: 4213514; Archive Volume Number: 4 of 4. Ancestry.com. U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 ‎[database on-line]‎. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registrations, 1863-1865. NM-65, entry 172, 620 volumes. ARC ID: 4213514. Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Archives at Washington D.C.

[14] “Battle of Chickamauga”. Wikipedia. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Chickamauga. Accessed on 2 January 2016.

[15] Letters Received by the Commission of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1863-1870. NARA Publication M1064. Marsh B. Taylor. 10 November 1863. File Number T266. State: Tennessee. Original data from The National Archives. Accessed at Fold3.com (https://www.fold3.com/image/304774024) on 30 December 2015.