Thomas Murphy profiles the Medal of Honor recipient and his gallant rescue of Lieutenant Charles King.
Bernard Taylor was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1844. He later enlisted in the United States Army in Washington, D.C. as a private with Company A of the 5th U.S. Cavalry. Assigned to frontier duty in the Arizona Territory, Taylor saw action during the Apache Wars and eventually rose to the rank of sergeant.
In the classic (1886) book, “Uncle Sam’s Medal of Honor” by Theo F. Rodenbough; Taylor is described as “an admirable specimen of the Irish-American soldier. Of medium stature, very powerfully built, with a frank, bronzed face, bright blue eyes and close-cut auburn hair and mustache, marked in the descriptive list as ‘sandy’.”
The same chapter added: “Bernard Taylor, was called ‘Barney’ by the troopers when off duty, but respectfully addressed ‘Sergeant’ at all other times. Both King and Eaton knew him well. He had been in many a scout and skirmish with the regiment, and was hailed as a daring, resolute, intelligent man, and a non-commissioned officer of high merit.”
Such skills and experiences possessed by Taylor would see him through a remarkable encounter, befitting inclusion in a book like “Uncle Sam’s Medal of Honor”.