William Cooper Talley, 1st Pennsylvania Reserves

Martial Deeds of Pennsylvania by Samuel P. Bates; Philadelphia: T. H. Davis & Co., 1876. Part II, Chapter XIV, Pages 926-927; A History of The Talley Family on the Delaware and Their Descendants - by George A. Talley, published 1898, p 168-171.

William Cooper Talley
William Cooper Talley, photographed in June of 1863 at Fairfax Station, Virginia. Library of Congress
William Cooper Talley

William Cooper Talley, son of Rev. Lewis T. Talley, was born in Newcastle county, Delaware, on the 11th of December, 1831. He edited the Upland Union in Delaware county, and the National Democrat at Norristown, previous to the war. Entering the volunteer service in May, 1861, as Captain in the First Reserve regiment, in November, 1862, he was advanced to Colonel. He was engaged in nearly every battle in which the Army of the Potomac had a part, down to the close of his term, leading his regiment, and at times a brigade, with great steadiness. At Charles City Cross Roads he was wounded, as he was also at Fredericksburg and Gettysburg. While leading a brigade upon the enemy”s works at Spottsylvania Court House he was taken prisoner. He was rescued by Sheridan when approaching the rebel capital, and mounting, fought in the column of cavalry until its return to the main body. He was with the Reserves in their last battle at Bethesda Church, and earned the promotion to Brevet Brigadier-General. After the war he was appointed Collector of Internal Revenue for the Seventh Pennsylvania District. He was married in 1860 to Miss Mary Jane Webb and resided in Media. He died October 20th, 1903 in Washington D.C.

William Cooper Talley, son of Rev. Lewis S. and Priscilla (Clark) Talley, was born December 11, 1831, on his father”s farm (later the home or Lewis Zebley), at Talley”s Corner, Brandywine Hundred, Del. His father died in 1847. and his mother in 1850, as shown by their tombstones at Bethel Cemetery. He attended the Forwood School when a boy, it being close to his home. The Forwood School House was memorable for one thing at least. A debating society was organized there many years ago. Among the active de-haters were William Cooper Talley and Powell Clayton, now Ambassador to Mexico, each or whom in the Civil War rose to the rank or Brigadier General. These brigadiers were related by John Clayton and Rev. Lewis S, Talley each marrying a daughter or George Clark. There was also a slight relationship by Sarah (Foulk) Clayton, the grandmother or Powell Clayton. being the daughter or Sarah (Talley) Foulk. Cooper Talley and Powell Clayton were or necessity on opposites sides in the debates, but during the Civil War they were on the same side, battling for their country , one in the far West and the other in the East. They each succeeded well in shedding new luster on their family names.

William Cooper Talley

William Cooper Taller graduated in 1853 at Professor Sudler’s Academy at Wilmington, Del, The professor was a graduate at West Point and a fine military tactician. Under his teaching young Talley perhaps received the military impulse which later developed into the brave soldier of the Civil War.

After his graduation he took a prospecting trip through the West, but finally decided to locate at Media, Pa. Here” he began the reading of law, and at the same time, with other parties, published the Upland Union, a Democratic newspaper issued at Media. Talley was a strong Douglas man, and his associates were equally as strong for Breckenridge. The chant of harmony caused Mr. Talley to withdraw from the paper. Being solicited by a committee from Norristown, Pa., he purchased the National Democrat of that city, and advocated the election of Douglas. Lincoln being elected, the war followed. The brave young man from Brandywine Hundred, with the military spirit already kindled at the Wilmington Academy, could not resist the call to arms. He raised a company, unsheathed his sword, and gallantly fought for his country and his convictions. Upon his return home, at the expiration of his three years, he became Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue for the Seventh District of Pennsylvania, and later received the appointment of Collector. When his office expired he again took up journalism, and published the Delaware County Democrat, at Chester, Pa. While editing this paper, in 1874, he was elected on the Democratic ticket to the Pennsylvania Legislature, and served until the close of the session in 1876. During two sessions of this term he was Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and a member of the Centennial Committee. He assisted in arranging for the Centennial grounds, and for a State Building. Meeting with financial reverses, he retired from politics and disposed of his paper; and in 1877 took a position in the Printing Department at Washington, D. C., in the proof room of the Congressional Record. He now [1898 ed] leads a quiet and honorable life in that city.

City Letter Carrier at USPS | augustmarchetti1980@gmail.com | Website | + posts

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.