Henry Taylor accompanied his brother to a court hearing on 19 August 1871 where he gave two depositions In support of his brother John Taylor’s claim for a horse supplied to the Union army.
Deposition of Henry Taylor (regarding his brother’s loyalty to the Union)
My name is Henry Taylor age 54 years, reside near fourteen miles north west of Lebanon, on Sand Mountain. Occupation a farmer. The claimant is my brother. No beneficial interest in this claim.
I have known my brother the claimant for forty [sic!] years. I was intimately acquainted with him during the war. I lived about twelve or fourteen miles from him during the war, I reckon I saw him probably about once a month or about that until towards the last of the war. In February 1864 I went with him to the Union lines at Larkin’s Landing and from there with the Union army I remained there for about three weeks and then came back home is the reason that I did not see him often during the latter part of the war. I left him in the Union lines. During the years 1861-2&3 I conversed with him about the war. It was pretty near all we chatted about. He always contended with me that the southern people were wrong and that the United States would whip them. You are powerfully right when you ask me if I was for the Union. If I was anything I was for the Union first and last if I know myself – and I think I do. He looked upon me as a Union man. I heard him express himself in favor of the Union cause in the presence of others. He always expressed much sympathy for the old government. He appeared that as if he did not know anything but to be a stubborn straight out Union man. His loyal neighbors appeared to look upon him and treated him as a Union man. I only know from hearsays that he was threatened by the rebels on account of his Union sympathies.
I was at his house in 1863 when the rebels had him off as a prisoner for talking in favor of the union cause. His rebel neighbors had reported him as being a tory. It was reported that they had reported him as being a tory. The rebels took his property from him because he was what they called a tory.
I know that he fed union scouts and piloted union fellows across the river who were making their way to the union army. It was understood by me and by his family and by his neighbors that the was in the service of the union army in the latter part of 1864 and during the fore part of 1865. I don’t know that he ever owned any confederate bonds or that he ever done anything for the rebel army. Never heard that he did.
I don’t think he could of proven his loyalty to the confederacy by any person who knew him during the war. The rebels frequently said during the war that him and my sort should not stay in the confederacy after the war was over.
(Signed) Henry (his X mark) Taylor
Deposition of Henry Taylor (regarding the property claim)
My name is Henry Taylor, age 54 years, occupation a farmer, reside on Sand Mountain, DeKalb County fourteen miles from Lebanon. I am a brother of the claimant, no beneficial interest in this claim.
I answer to the questions as to the taking or furnishing of the property deponent, deponent says in answer to question one: I was present when the horse was furnished.
To the 2nd (question) he says: I saw him deliver the horse to a commissioned officer of the United States Army.
To the 3rd (question) he says: The union army made a scout to Lebanon, Alabama and when they were returning the army camped near my house. Captain Allen who commanded a company of scouts, the most of whom was from DeKalb County. The claimant came to my house with his horse. Me and him went down to where Captain Allen was camped about 3/4 of a mile from my house, went to Captain Allen and proposed to sell his horse to him. The claimant said to Captain Allen that he heard that he was buying horses. CAptain Allen said that he would buy him. I did not hear any more of their conversation in the [said?] matter. He did not deliver the horse then, but we went n with the command to Larkins Landing which is about ten miles from there. We got there that night and camped overnight, and the next morning I saw him deliver Allen the horse. He received the horse and took him off – that set him afoot. Don’t recollect what was said. The company left us there and we tuck it afoot to the railroad at Scottsboro. Then we took the train and went to Bridgeport. There we went to the quarters of Captain Allen and we stayed with them three weeks. Captain Allen and his company got to Bridgeport with the horse before we did. Then they had the horse branded I did not see him branded, I saw the brand on him. I saw them riding him. I saw the soldiers standing picket on him. This was in February 1864. When I left Bridgeport, I left the claimant there. I never saw the horse afterwards. I heard him say that he got a receipt for the horse, I never saw the receipt. There was plenty of commissioned officers there at Larkins Landing when he delivered the horse to Captain Allen. A. J. Horton one of the Lieutenants of Allen’s company was present when the horse was delivered. Lieutenant A> J. Horton is now probate judge of DeKalb County. The horse was in good condition for service. I never examined the horse’s mouth particularly, but I would reckon he was five or six years old. Well the way everything was then I would reckon he was worth about $125. Never talked with the claimant about the value of the horse.
(Signed) Henry (his X mark) Taylor