Confederate Lieutenant General Richard Taylor, son of President Zachary Taylor and brother-in-law of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, began the war as Colonel of the 9th Louisiana Infantry. He fought in the Battle of Bull Run and slowly rose through the ranks.
By April of 1865, he commanded the Confederate Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. Taylor, leading about 10,000 troops, knew the Confederacy was collapsing when news of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox reached him.
Taylor was honest with his 10,000 troops. He felt that while General Joseph Johnston was still in the fight, they must support him. He also worried for the safety of President Davis and other Government authorities who might need their protection.
His men, including General Nathan Bedford Forrest, joined him in remaining vigilant.
Then Taylor learned that Johnston surrendered to Union General Sherman.
Taylor agreed to meet with Union Major General Edward Canby. The meeting took place north of Mobile, Alabama. They agreed to a 48-hour truce during their May 2nd conversation. The two generals then ate lunch together and enjoyed lively music.
Taylor agreed to the same terms as Lee and Grant. On May 4th, he surrendered at Citronelle, Alabama. Located along the railroad, Citronelle was between Canby’s Mobile headquarters and Taylor’s headquarters in Meridian, Mississippi.
A few days later, Forrest surrendered his cavalry corps.
There is a small park with markers and picnic tables at the location of Taylor’s surrender. More information can be found at the Citronelle Historical Museum.
-Sandra Merville Hart
“Conclusion of the American Civil War,” Wikipedia.com, 2018/03/21 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conclusion_of_the_American_Civil_War.
“Richard Taylor,” Civil War Trust, 2018/03/22 https://www.civilwar.org/learn/biographies/richard-taylor.
Plante, Trevor K. “Ending the Bloodshed,” National Archives, 2018/03/21
“Surrender at Citronelle,” ExploreSouthernHistory.com, 2018/03/22 http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/citronelle.html.