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Cowdery Taylor

Obituary of Colonel Walter H. Taylor, Norfolk, Virginia.

Col. Walter H. Taylor, one of the most prominent citizens of Norfolk, Va., died there on the night of March 1, 1916, aged seventy-four years. He had been President of the Bank of Norfolk since 1877.

Colonel Taylor was born in Norfolk June 13, 1838, the son of Walter H. Taylor and Cornelia W. Cowdery, and had lived there continuously with the exception of four years in the War between the States, during which he served as a Confederate staff officer of Gen. R. E. Lee and was known as Lee's trusted adjutant. He was educated at the old Norfolk Academy, later spending three years at the Virginia Military Institute, which he left at the death of his father, during the yellow fever epidemic of 1855. He served with General Lee during the entire war in the West Virginia campaign, in South Carolina and Georgia, and finally in Northern Virginia, and he was with General Lee in every engagement in which the commander participated.

At the close of the war he returned to the city of his birth and entered the hardware business, in which he continued until 1877, when he accepted the presidency of the Marine Bank, to which he was elected upon the death of his cousin, Richard Taylor, and he remained as president of this bank until his death. Colonel Taylor was especially interested in the Norfolk and Western Railway, and in point of service he was the oldest director of that company, having held a place on the board since 1885.

Because of his intimate association with General Lee, Colonel Taylor's book on "General Lee, 1861-65" is regarded as the most authentic dealing with the campaigns of Lee and gives many personal reminiscences of the Southern leader. This was published in 1906. His first book, covering the operations of the Army of Northern Virginia and entitled "Four Years under Lee," was published soon after the war.

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, April, 1916.

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