Benjamin Franklin Taylor

By Danella Dickson

Benjamin Franklin Taylor was born in 1843 in Mississippi, the son of George Hiram and Keziah Euphronias Seay Taylor. The family was living in Itawamba County, Mississippi in 1850 but prior to 1860 had relocated to Carroll County, Arkansas.

Benjamin enlisted August 9, 1862 in Company E, 3rd (Adam’s) Arkansas State Troops. This unit had been authorized by the governor of Arkansas by specifying that these new troops would not be transferred out of the state of Arkansas by Confederate authorities. In Early December, 1862 the regiment was sent to Washington County in northwest Arkansas where Confederate and Union forces of almost equal strength met to battle for control of that section of Arkansas. The Battle of Prairie Grove began at dawn on December 7th, that afternoon the 3rd Arkansas Regiment was ordered into battle. They were first placed in a gap between two other regiments facing the 26th Indiana Regiment, when the Hoosiers fell back the regiment climbed over the fence and advanced through the orchard. As they moved forward they were met with heavy fire from the 37th Illinois some of whom were armed with Colt revolving rifles. The regiment broke, many of the officers going with the men. At the end of the day the battle ended with both armies suffering about the same number of causalities. During the night the Confederates quietly withdrew because of a lack of ammunition and food.

The 3rd (Adams) Arkansas Regiment retreat in battle was a disgrace and as a result the regiment was disbanded by special order of Lieut. General Holmes. On December 17, 1862 Benjamin was reassigned to Shaler’s Regiment Arkansas Infantry, also known as the 27th Regiment Arkansas Infantry. Shaler’s Regiment was also at Prairie Grove, but did not become actively involved in the fighting because the regiment was without arms.
The 27th took part in most of the principal battles fought in the Trans-Mississippi among which was the Battle of Bayou Fourche, the Battle of Pleasant Hill and the Battle of Jenkins Ferry. The regiment was sent to Louisiana in July 1863 to support Confederate operations against General Grant’s forces laying siege to Vicksburg. They returned to Arkansas in August 1863 and were involved in the defense of Little Rock September 10, 1863. The regiment surrendered with the Department of Trans- Mississippi May 26, 1865..

Benjamin Franklin Taylor died during the war, sometime after he was transferred to the 27th Regiment. There is no record of when he died or where.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts