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Object Name Coat, Frock
Catalog Number 0985.13.00541
Description Uniform frock coat: double breasted navy pattern, 9 buttons in each row, cadet gray wool broadcloth with no piping and no facings, green wool and silk lining in the body, white cotton sheeting in sleeves; no collar insignia, no sleeve braid, Virginia state buttons with backmark: "WILDT & SONS/RICHMOND, VA,"cuff buttons are Federal Eagle I buttons with no backmarks.
Owned Walter Herron Taylor
Owner Regiment AAG, Provisional Army of Virginia
AAG, Gen. Robert E. Lee
ADC, Gen. R. E. Lee
Event Evacuation of Richmond, April 2-3, 1865
Provenance Lieutenant Colonel Walter Taylor's daughter donated both coats to the Museum in 1918, describing one of them as "the coat he made for his wedding the night Richmond was evacuated." Taylor was assistant adjutant general to Robert E. Lee and Lee's closest military aide. A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Taylor served briefly in the 6th Virginia Infantry before he was summoned to join Lee's staff.

"Walter Herron Taylor, one of Lee's adjutants at his headquarters, had telegraphed in the afternoon to alert [Betty] Saunders. By prearrangement, they were to be married that night. In her wedding dress of black muslin and gray linen, she waited. Shortly after midnight [in the early hours of April 3, 1865], Taylor arrived. Dr. Minnigerode performed the ceremony in the upstairs sitting room so the crippled lady of the [Crenshaw] house could also attend. During the brief ritual, intermittent sobbing by the few guests accompanied the exchange of vows. Minnigerode wept with them. After a wedding meal, the newlyweds parted, and Taylor rode away to rejoin the army. It was a romantic interlude in a hellish night for Confederate Richmond. Romantic or not, Taylor had acted irresponsibly. Lee agreed to his surprising request for a few hours' leave to run up to town to be married, even though he needed every possible hand at his understaffed headquarters to help orchestrate the withdrawal. Taylor commandeered the engine of the last hospital train to Richmond in order to overtake another train up ahead...." ("Richmond Burning" by Nelson Lankford, page 88-89)
People Taylor, Walter Herron
Search Terms Richmond, Virginia
Evacuation of Richmond, April 2-3, 1865
Appomattox Campaign
Surrender at Appomattox, Virginia, April 9, 1865
items worn home
end of war
Subjects weddings
marriage
Uniforms
surrenders