John Taylor Wood in War and Exile
About the Book
John Taylor Wood, the grandson of President Zachary Taylor and a nephew of Jefferson Davis, was one of the most daring and remarkable participants of the Civil War and among the few people to hold dual rank in the Confederate military as a captain in the Confederate States Navy (CSN) and a colonel in the cavalry. Wood was widely known for his wartime activities, but at the time of his death in 1904, he had been largely forgotten.
This work combines a thorough biography of John Taylor Wood and three of his memoirs that were published in Century magazine between 1885 and 1898. The biography gives special attention to Wood’s childhood and youth, such as his harrowing experiences in Florida during the Seminole Wars, his service in the United States Navy during and after the Mexican War, his experiences in California during the Gold Rush and his leading role among the members of the little-known postwar Confederate naval colony in Halifax, Nova Scotia, organized to fight the Fenian forces for the British in 1866.
His writings about the war and other literary activities, and his friendship with William Hall, the first African American to win the Victoria Cross are covered. The memoirs in this book cover his service on the CSS Virginia, the cruise of the CSS Tallahassee (of which he was the commander), and his gutsy escape from the South as the Confederacy collapsed.
About the Author(s)
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2002
Table of Contents
Under Three Flags: The Life and Legacy of John Taylor Wood
1 A Forgotten Confederate Colony 9
2 Early Life, 1830–1847 12
3 United States Navy, 1847–1861 16
4 Confederate States Navy, 1861–1865 22
5 Escape to Cuba, 1865 41
6 Exile in Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1865–1904 53
7 A Rebel’s Legacy 66
The Civil War Memoirs of a Confederate Exile: Writings of John Taylor Wood
8 The First Fight of Iron-Clads 71
9 The Tallahassee’s Dash into New York Waters 96
10 Escape of the Confederate Secretary of War 114
Appendix 1: The Capture of the USS Underwriter 139
Appendix 2: United States Vessels Captured by the CSS Tallahassee 147
Appendix 3: A Song for the Forecastle 149
Appendix 4: An Annotated Checklist of the Published and Unpublished Writings of John Taylor Wood 151
Annotated Bibliography 167
Book Reviews & Awards
“compelling…well-researched, well-written biography of a fascinating Civil War officer”—The Civil War News; “splendid…enthralling…clear and concise”—Civil War Courier; “splendid…well-written…a most satisfactory treatment of a neglected but important Confederate war leader”—North & South; “comprehensive volume of his adventuresome life”—Civil War Book Review; “stranger than fiction…recommended for those interested in the Civil War, the Navy and fascinating stories”—Catholic Library World.