National Medal of Honor Day: Remembering Henry Harrison Taylor

National Medal of Honor Day recognizes those who have received the highest military award for valor. Since its creation in 1861, only 3,517 members of the armed forces have achieved this great honor. One of those members is Henry Harrison Taylor of Jo Daviess County.

Henry Harrison Taylor was born on July 4, 1841 in Guilford Township in Galena.  He served as a Sergeant, in the Army, with Company C, of the 45th Illinois Infantry Regiment, during the Civil War. During the Battle of Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1863, Sergeant Taylor was the first to place the colors of the Union Army on the Confederate fortifications at Fort Hill.  Because of his bravery, on September 1,1893, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

After the war, he returned to Jo Daviess County and married Marjory Turner, and the couple had five children.

To this day, Henry H. Taylor is the only person from Jo Daviess County to receive the Medal of Honor. Because of his heroics, the country school, in Guilford Township, was named Taylor School.

House Minority Leader Tony McCombie, whose 89th Legislative District encompasses parts of Jo Daviess County, is encouraging residents to recognize National Medal of Honor Day, and the important figures of the area, like Henry H. Taylor, that came before us.