Growing up in a Quaker household in Northern Virginia, Kirkbride Taylor respected peaceful principles. But after war divided the country, he set aside his medical studies and joined the 8th Virginia Infantry as a first sergeant. The regiment fought in many early Virginia actions, including the 1862 Battle of Glendale, where Taylor sustained a minor wound.
The following year at Gettysburg, Taylor was on the skirmish line during Pickett’s Charge. As he approached the stone wall near the Copse of Trees, a minié bullet struck him on the side of the head, but did not penetrate the skin. He fell back and safely returned to the Confederate lines.
Taylor later became an officer. In June 1864, during the fighting around Petersburg, he suffered his third wound of the war when a gunshot hit him in the right chest. This injury ended his combat career.
After the, war he returned to Virginia, resumed his studies, and became a physician. He married and had two children. Upon his death at age 73 in 1913, the mourners who paid their respects took note of an unusual indentation on his head—the result of his Gettysburg injury.
Source credit: text and images, Military Images Magazine
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