Sheathed Sword

CHARLES F. TAGGART

MAJOR 2ND PENN. CAVALRY

DIED OCT. 24, 1863

FROM WOUNDS RECEIVED

AT BEALETON STATION, VA.

The segmented-top white marble gravestone that marks Major Charles Taggart’s grave is imbued with symbolism.  Draped over the top of the gravestone is a cloth.  In this case, it likely symbolizes that Taggard’s Earthly garments have been cast aside as his soul makes the transition to the Heavenly plane.

Also carved on the stone is a soldier’s sword in its sheath.  Typically the sheathed sword would represent temperance and restraint.  It is obviously also a nod to honor Major Taggard’s service in the Civil War.  Charles Taggard served in two units—first in 1st Philadelphia City Troop from November 10, 1857 until August 17, 1861 when he mustered out.  The 2nd Pennsylvania Volunteer Calvary formed on November 18, 1861 with Taggard rising to the rank of Major.  Nearly from the very beginning when the new unit was formed they saw action when they joined the Army of the Potomac in the Battles of Battles of the 2nd Bull Run and Chantilly.  Later the unit chased the famous Colonel Mosby, then later saw action in the Battle of Gettysburg in those three fateful days of July in 1863.  But Major Taggard’s last battle was a skirmish at Bealeton Station, Virginia.  Taggard was shot in the knee while leading a charge against Confederate cavalry and infantry units.  Taggart’s leg was amputated but died two days later.  His body was returned to Philadelphia and on October 29th, 1863 his funeral was held.  Taggard’s body was laid to rest in the Laurel Hill Cemetery by six pallbearers who had served with him in the City Troop.

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