In the year of 1846 William & Mariah Israel had their first son Zachariah Taylor Israel.Two years later they had a second son Winfield Scott Israel. Within the next few years two daughters Marthia and Mary Jane had been born. This family lived in a quite country side in Patrick County,VA.
Along came the Civil War, Zachariah Taylor was only eighteen years old. But nothing else would do Zachariah, except to join the "Rebel Army".On April 23,1864 he enlisted in the 24th VA Infantry,Co. H.. Zachariah Taylor left his home in Patrick County and traveled into a whole new world for him. Richmond ,VA was quite drfferent from his native Patrick,County . In Patrick County he probably only used his rifle for squirell hunting or target practice.I'm sure he had fun competing with his younger brother "Scott"shooting at cans or even rocks.
But here in Richmond, he was handed a gun to kill another man.Perhaps only a boy like himself, away from home for the first time in his life.The following three weeks I'm sure was hell for the eighteen year old.
I can only imagine how he longed to see his only brother and his two sisters.How he longed to hear his mother call him to supper, or even hear his father William tell him it was time to do his chores.
Oh, if only Zachariah Taylor could have gone back to his family in that little quite country side.Maybe he would have found someone he could have shared his life with, had children who would have been cousins to my dad Walter C.Israel.
But less than a month after leaving his home, Zachariah Taylor looked at the mountains and gazed at the beautiful James river for the last time.For there on Drewrys Bluff, that foggy Spring morning, this eighteen year old lost his life.
On May 17,1864 while doing what he felt was his duty, protecting the city of Richmond,Virginia, Zachariah Taylor recieved a bullet to the head.One can only guess, as to how long he lay there injured.Or if he was even alive when they got him to Wayside hospital.We do know that he was pronounced dead, the following day May I8th,1864.
Since that time, Zachariah has lain in a unmarked grave in Oakwood Cemetery.Here in this Cemetery in Richmond,VA. he had only a number for a name.Far from his family who knew not where he was and far from his beloved Patrick County.
Through the use of computers,his great niece and three wonderful men George Martin, John Kindred and Lee Hart (S.C.V.) helping her, Zachariah has been located.
Now Scott Israel can know, that no longer is his only brother, a small mound of unknown clay. Zachariah will forever more, have a stone that will tell anyone who looks at it............. HERE LIES A NEVER FORGOTTON CONFEDRATE SOLDIER.
ZACHARIAH TAYLOR ISRAEL
24th Virginia Infantry, Company H
By Charlene Israel Blankenship
October 17, 2007