LIEUTENANT ZACHARY TAYLOR — IN HIS HOME STATE OF KENTUCKY
TAYLOR, ZACHARY. (1784-1850). Twelfth President of the United States (1849-1850). Early Autograph Letter Signed, “Z. Taylor, Lt. Col. 1st Regiment U.S. Infantry S.R. Service”. Two full pages, quarto. Louisville, Kentucky, December 15, 1824. Very fine condition. To “Major C.J. Nourse, Acting Adjutant General, U.S. Army, Washington”. Taylor writes:
“Sir, I have the honor to transmit herewith my monthly return and accounts current for the month ending the 30th of November last, also duplicate Enlistments and a roll of the recruits made by the several officers under my superintendence for the same month. A few days since Lt. Wash, who had been previously on the Recruiting Service at Natchez, reported and has been placed on duty at this place. I regret (should it be the wish of the Department to keep the Western and Southern Regiments complete), that the rendezvous at Natchez has been broken up, as it is unquestionably during the winter and spring, one of the best recruiting stations west of the mountains; and should the department still have it in contemplation to supply the 1st, 4th, 5th and 7th Regiments of Infantry with Recruits from the Western Department, Cincinnati, Louisville, Natchez and New Orleans are certainly the proper points for obtaining them. I have to request that the sum of five hundred dollars may be transmitted to me exclusively for Contingencies, also an additional supply of blank Enlistments. Your communication of the 16th ult. directing Lt. Johnston to report to me by the 1st of April was duly received. Very respectfully, Sir, your obedient servant Z. Taylor Lt. Col. 1st Regiment U.S. Infantry S.R. Service”.
Zachary Taylor grew up on a plantation in Muddy Fork of Beargrass Creek, near Louisville, Kentucky. Taylor’s father, a former officer in the Army during the American Revolution, had been awarded 6,000 acres of land in that state for his services during the war. Promptly leaving their ancestral home of Virginia, the Taylors moved to their new land in Kentucky, where Taylor helped his father run the plantation until he joined the militia in 1806. Two years later, he received a commission from his second cousin, Secretary of State James Madison, as a lieutenant in the Seventh Infantry. Taylor would spend the next forty years in the military before leaving to accept the Presidency of the United States.