William F. Taylor accompanied his father to a court hearing on 19 August 1871 where he gave a deposition In support of his father John Taylor’s claim for a horse supplied to the Union army.
Deposition of William F. Taylor
My name is William F. Taylor, age 31 years, occupation a farmer. I reside five miles south of Lebanon. The claimant is my father, no beneficial interest in this claim.
In answer to the questions as to the taking or furnishing of the property deponent, deponent says in answer to question one: I was not present when the horse was furnished.
To the 2nd (question) he says: I did not see the property furnished.
To the 3rd (question) he says: I was a soldier in the United States army. I was a member of Captain George Allen’s company of 1st Alabama Vidette Cavalry, “B” Company, and while stationed at Bridgeport, Alabama our company was out on a scout across the Tennessee River with General Smith’s command, and when they returned to Bridgeport they brought this horse, the property of my father the claimant back with them. I did not go with the company on the scout, I was left as one of the guards at the camp.
We did not have horses enough at that time to mount all of our company. I lived right close to my father at home and I was well acquainted with the horse. Members of the company, and to the best of my recollection Captain Allen, told me when they returned that my father had furnished the horse to them. I held the horse by the bridle when the “U S” brand was put on him. He was branded by the orders of Captain Allen. I did not have any horse and the Captain gave him to me to use and I rode him in the service for at least three months in active service.
After I had rode him about three months, my brother who was a member of the same company and who was taken sick and I was sent to the hospital to nurse him and when I left to go to the hospital the horse was turned over to another soldier. When I returned to my company another horse was assigned to me and I did not use him anymore, but I frequently saw him in the command ridden by another soldier. I don’t know anything about the receipt given for the horse except what I have heard father say. The horse was in very good using order, able for any service, he was as good as the majority of horses in the cavalry service. He was five or six years old. He was worth $125. Never talked to my father in my life about the worth of the horse that I can now recollect of. Don’t know anything about what was said or done when the horse was delivered to Captain Allen. I know that Captain Allen was purchasing horses to mount our company and that he did buy the horses for our company, I have saw him give receipts for horses as he would get them.
(Signed) William F. Taylor