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THE THIRTY-THIRD OFFICERS
The State Military Authorities at Albany are now collecting biographies of all the commissioned officers from this State, to be printed and preserved among thB archives of the Commonwealth. It was customary at Rome and Athens to engrave the names of their warriors on marble-tablets erected at the street corners, that all might see who had perilled their lives in defence of their country.
BIOGRAPHIES OF THE OFFICERS.
COLONEL ROBERT F. TAYLOR
Was born in Erie, Pa., June 19th, 1826. He attended school until fifteen years of age, when he became employed as an apprentice in the clothing business. In 1843 he proceeded to Toronto, Canada, remaining there until the spring of 1845. After spending several months in travelling, he settled in Rochester, and during the following December associated himself with the Rochester Union Grays. April 14th, 1847, he enlisted in Captain Wilder's Company, 10th Infantry, and was appointed Orderly Sergeant. The Regiment, which was raised for the war by Colonel Robert E. Temple, immediately proceeded to Mexico, and served in various campaigns until August 1848. Sergeant Taylor distinguished himself on various occasions, but especially at the battle of, Meir. The Regiment was detached from the army, and stationed at this post village, for several weeks. Learning this fact, a considerable force of the enemy advanced cautiously through the mountain defiles, and made a sudden night attack, hoping to capture the entire command. On entering the village they proceeded immediately to the barracks where the men were quartered, and opened a hot fire on them. Not a commissioned officer was present at that time. Sergeant Taylor immediately roused the men from their slumbers, rallied them around him, 4 BIOGRAPHIES OF THE OFFICERS.
end after a brief engagement, routed the Mexicans and put them to flight.
Returning to Rochester during the fall of 1848, he remained a short time, and then settled at Stafford, Genesee County. He was engaged in the clothing business here until the spring of 1851, when he removed to South Byron. During the fall of the same year he proceeded to Cuba, Allegany County, and in the following spring, returned to Rochester, where he has continued to reside until the present time. Soon after returning, he, with several others, organized the Rochester Light Guard. He was immediately elected Orderly Sergeant, and promoted to Second Lieutenant, January 26th, 1856. July 4th, 1856, he was made Division Inspector, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, on General Fullerton's Staff. Resigning this position, he was elected First Lieutenant af the. Light Guard, which had now become Co. C, Fifty-fourth Regiment State Militia. January 25th, 1857, he was elected Major of the Regiment. August 19th, 1857, he resigned his Majorship to accept the Captaincy of the Light Guard. On the firing of Fort Sumpter, April, 1860, he commenced raising a company for . the waj, and in fourteen days tendered eighty-six men to the Goyernor. His Company was immediately accepted, and mustered into the service as Company A, Thirteenth New York Volunteers. On the 22d day of May, he was unanimously elected Colonel of the Thirtythird New York.
Colonel Taylor was present with his command in all the engagements of its two years' campaign, with the exception of Antietam, when he was absent on recruiting service. Owing to his soldierly qualities and skill in manoeuvring troops, he was frequently placed in command
BIOGRAPHIES OF THE OFFICERS. 5
of a Brigade. His gallant conduct during the last series of battles around Fredericksburg greatly increased the esteem and regard with which he was held among hig fellow-officers and men.
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL J. W. COKNING
Was born in Yarmouth, North Scotia, Nov. 4th, 1813, and when eleven years of age removed with his parenta to Rochester. The father losing all of his property by an extensive conflagration, the son was thrown on his own resources, and resorted to various shifts for a livelihood. In 1829 he joined a military organization, and devoted much time to the manual. During a part of the years 1833 and 1834, he resided in Waterloo, where he was elected Captain of a Company of Fusileers. In the spring of 1834 he proceeded to Clayton, Jefferson Co., and spent two years in teaching and agricultural pursuits. He was here likewise chosen Captain of a Militia Company. In the spring of 1837 he started on a travelling tour, and spent several months among the Western wilds, meeting with numerous adventures. Returning to New York in December, he settled at Ontario, Wayne Co., where he remained ten years, engaged in agricultural pursuits. In 1847 he removed to Palmyra, and embarked in the mercantile business. May, 1850, he sailed for California, and after spending three years in mining operations, returned to Palymra. He now commenced the study of law, was admitted to the bar in March 1855, and continued the practice of his profession until the outbreak of the war. He was chosen Justice of the Peace, Police Magistrate, Mayor of the village, and filled other positions of trust. In the falLof 1860 he was elected by