Zachary Taylor, born at Montebello, in Orange County, Va., 24 November 1784, was educated by a tutor. He saw brief Army service as a volunteer in 1806, was appointed First Lieutenant in 1808, and defended Fort Knox against Indian attack in 1812. After serving as Commander of Fort Winnebago, Wis., he was appointed Colonel 4 April 1832 and commanded a detachment of regulars in the Black Hawk War. In 1836, Taylor was placed in command of operations against the Seminoles. After a long and difficult campaign, he won a decisive victory over the Indians on Christmas Day in 1837, for which he was breveted Brigadier General. Following 4 more hard years in Florida, he was transferred to Louisiana.
Taylor was at New Orleans in the spring of 1845 when President Polk ordered him to move his troops to the mouth of the Sabine River or to some other position convenient for a speedy advance to the southwestern border of Texas as soon as that State accepted the terms of annexation proposed. That summer he marched his men to Corpus Christ! and the following spring advanced to the Rio Grande, where hostilities soon precipitated the Mexican War. He defeated Mexican General Arista 8 May 1846 at Palo Alto and won another victory the next day at Resaca de la Palma. Thereafter, his victories in the Mexican War, especially at Monterrey and Buena Vista, won him nationwide acclaim. General Taylor was the Whig candidate for President in 1848 and was elected. On 9 July 1850, while still in office, he died of choleramorbus.
(SwStr: 1.152; l. 105'; b. 17'6"; dph. 8'6"; a. 1 gun)
General Taylor was purchased at New York by the War Department in 1840 and was used as a transport and supply ship during the Seminole War in Florida. She was transferred to the Navy in 1842, and used for a time in the Gulf of Mexico.
Converted to a tug in 1845, General Taylor operated out of the Pensacola Navy Yard, and in 1846 was accidentally burnt to the water's edge at the Yard. She was subsequently rebuilt at Pensacola with the same dimensions but new machinery.
General Taylor was employed as a dispatch vessel at the Navy Yard until April 1852, when, needing extensive repairs, she was sold at public auction at Pensacola.