Lot 13    

Civil War Archive of Col. O.P. Taylor 51st and 161st OVI
2/3/2011 - ONLINE American History Timed Auction
lot of 18 items. Oliver Perry Taylor was 33 years old when he enlisted as a Colonel in the 161 OVI, a 100-day unit. The lot contains a pass to allow "Judge Taylor" onto the Ohio Militia and Volunteer Militia base at Camp Jackson, dated 6 May 1861, just after the start of the war.

A few items are war-dated, the most interesting is a note in an envelope marked Confidential, that contains "countersigns" (written passwords) for the six days from 1 to 6 July 1864, signed by William Maulsby, Col. & AAAG in the MD 1st PHB Infy. and post commander in Martinsburg, WV, where the 161st was sent shortly after mustering into service. The earliest War-related item is also a note signed by Maulsby, informing guards and pickets that Col. Taylor can travel on any road at any time, dated 13 June 1864. From two days later, there is a receipt for Taylor from Jonathan Irvine stating that Irvine sold Taylor a black horse for $100, and if the horse is returned in good condition at the end of Taylor's term of service, he will refund some of that money. The lot contains a receipt covering May 11 - July 25, 1864 for equipment and clothing (poncho, blankets, drawers, trousers, overcoat, canteen, etc.). An undated receipt catalogs returns of unsold pens to Miller & O'Donnell of Martinsburg, WV. Whether this is war-time or simply a relationship established then is not clear. The last dated item is a small (4 x 4.75") piece of paper folded into a triangle. It is from Hd Qrs. Brigade Md. Heights, Aug. 1, 1864 and is a request to countersign for receipt of something. (The password of the day was "South Mountain".) Two undated notes appear to be war-related. One is 2.5 x 5" to John Agnew(?) Please let the 161st Ohio Vo Gaurds [sic] have our Major(??). The other is from Charles Gentsch, an individual with whom Taylor would remain in contact for decades. Writing as 1st Lieut. and RQM of the 51st OVI, Gentsch requests that Taylor assist a man's wife (possibly a Mr. Lehman) procure money from the Goshen Township Treasurer, They are Germans and know little of the formalities of such business transactions.

Later items include a pamphlet from a reunion in New Philadelphia, Ohio, Aug. 28, 1878 of the 30th, 51st, 80th OVVI and 161 OVI, which lists Col. Taylor as the Chief Marshal. A folded card has a note that contains the addresses of members of the 161st from Noble Co., dated 24 June 1889.

Several items relate to the Loyal Legion. Taylor apparently was contacted by Dr. Gentsch in early Oct. 1902 to apply for membership. There is a typed copy of Taylor's reply dated 6 Oct. The next is from an officer of the Legion requesting that Col. Taylor get his application in quickly for membership, explaining that his earlier request was denied because some members did not think the "short service" individuals qualified for membership. They had since changed their minds, apparently influenced by Rutherford Hayes, and decided that the issue was patriotism, not length of service. This is dated 10 Oct. 1902. Taylor replied on 27 Oct. thanking Dr. Gentsch for sending the application and for his help.

The lot contains 4 photographs, two cdvs, one marked G.G. Williams, Co. A, 51st Reg. O.V.U.S.A and the other Ed Gardner, with a New Phila., OH backmark, so clearly someone Taylor would have known, but we were unable to locate him. A cabinet card of Taylor shows him wearing fraternal pins, taken in the late 19th century, with the beard starting to turn grey. A slightly larger card shows 4 generations of Taylor men in a 3.5 x 5" oval image, back notes that O.P Taylor was 76 years old at the time (George 51, Frank 25, Perry 2 mos.).

Given the age of his son in the last image, Oliver Perry Taylor was already a father and breadwinner, probably a judge, when the "Troubles" began. He would have been about 30, and considered old for service. As the war dragged on, older individuals were taken into service. Clearly, by 1864 Taylor thought he should help out at least a little. The 161st was sent to Cumberland, MD immediately after it was taken into Federal service, then it moved to Martinsburg, WV. In June, it accompanied a supply train up the Shenandoah Valley, meeting up with Hunter's army just outside of Staunton. They remained with Hunter a short time before being ordered back to Martinsville and thence back to Ohio.

Paper items as expected. Photo of Williams has clipped corners, photo of adult Taylor somewhat scuffed.
Sold: $293.75
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