This profile was published in “Grand Review Times: A Call for the Descendants of USCT Troops from Camp William Penn 1863 to the Harrisburg Grand Review, 1865,” a supplement that appeared in the March 22, 2010 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine. ““Grand Review Times” is avalible for download as a PDF file here. (Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer in order to read this document.)
Anthony Taylor, a software computer engineer living in Coatesville, feels a definite responsibility in the knowledge he carries about with him as a descendant of a soldier in the United States Colored Troops.
“I started out with just a little information passed on by the family,” Taylor said recently while discussing his ancestor, Solomon Butcher, “And I was able to grow from there – to add to it, and to help preserve the story and pass it on.”
Taylor is quick to credit his wife, Dr. LaTonya Thames Taylor, with spurring his interest in his family history and helping him to mine the resources available. His wife, a professor of history at West Chester University, is a scholar, or lead instructor, in the Live and Learn program sponsored by the Bureau of Cultural Heritage Tourism, a high intensity learning seminar that combines reading, discussion and analysis with fun and recreation and travel.
Anthony Taylor’s great-great grandfather Butcher enrolled in the army at Lancaster on January 4, 1864, he learned, and served in the 25th Regiment, Company A. Born in 1844, Butcher was 20 years old when he entered the Army and after his service he lived a full life, dying on December 28, 1916. He is buried at Chestnut Grove Cemetery Annex not far from where the Taylors live presently in Chester County.
After joining his regiment Butcher’s group was split up, he notes, and eventually they arrived in Louisiana to defend Union interests from the southern troops. Eventually the men returned to Pennsylvania and he was mustered out in Philadelphia almost a year after he enrolled on December 6, 1865.
“I’ve always been interested in history, Taylor noted. “I’ve always been curious, always inquired about things from people who know and I owe a great debt to my cousin who compiled a history for the family many years ago.” With a little knowledge about his family’s past he has been able to learn more by asking and digging, he said, and he concludes, by following his wife’s suggestions about preserving history and passing it on.