Captain James Taggart, third son of John Taggart, was born in the borough of Northumberland, February 4, 1827, and received his education almost entirely at the public schools of his native town. At the age of sixteen years he was employed by the late Ephraim Shannon in his store at Northumberland, where he remained four years, properly mastering the duties assigned to him and to a large extent engrafting the spirit of his employer, whose genial humor, facetious witticisms, and well spun yarns are thoroughly remembered by the older citizens who congregated around this store, where fun always took precedence. In 1848 he went to western New York in the capacity of paymaster for James Moore, who had a large contract in the vicinity of Hornellsville, and after completing this he returned to Northumberland, purchased the store of the late William H. Waples, and entered into business for himself. He forgot none of the training by his old employer, and mixing fun with business he did a fairly profitable trade until 1861, when he entered the army. In December, 1850, he married Sarah, daughter of John H. Cowden, by whom he had four children; two died in infancy and two survive to the present time: Sarah C., who resides in Northumberland, and David, a physician at Frackville, Schuylkill county, this State. Immediately upon the news of the firing on Fort Sumpter, a roll was started, naturally at his store, because it was the principal rendezvous for the young and active spirits of the community. A company was formed and he was elected captain. But, owing to the spontaneous response to the call of President Lincoln and the inability of the government to furnish guns for all, this eager company was not directly accepted; but through the foresight of Governor Curtin in effectively recommending the formation of reserve corps, they were received as Company B, Fifth Pennsylvania Reserve, and placed under command of that brave and able officer, Colonel Seneca G. Simmons. This company has a history and the subject of this sketch figures largely in that history. His comrades will attest his worth as a man and soldier; and the laying down of his life, as he did in the field at the battle of Charles City Cross Roads, proved his valor and patriotism.
Currently a resident of Burke, Virginia - I'm originally from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have been a student of the Pennsylvania Reserves since 1997 and thoroughly enjoy telling their story. By trade I'm a former IT Professional but presently working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.