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Biographical Sketch

William Booth Taliaferro attended William & Mary  and studied law at Harvard. He fought in the Mexican War in the 9th United States Infantry. After the war, he served in the Virginia House of Delegates. On February 7, 1853, he married Sally Nivison Lyons, with whom he had eight children. During the U.S. Civil War, he served under Jackson in the Rich Mountain, Romney, and Valley campaigns. He commanded Jackson's division at Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas and Fredericksburg. He served at Fort Wagner, James Island and in Florida and Georgia. After the Civil War, he again served in the legislature; was a judge; and served on the Board of Visitors of William & Mary in 1870, and Rector 1890-1899. He died February 28, 1898 and is buried Ware Episcopal Church Cemetery in Gloucester, Virginia.

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

Further Reading


  1. The College of William & Mary, A Provisional List of Alumni, Grammar School Students, Members of the Faculty, and Members of the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary in Virginia, from 1693 to 1888, Issued as an Appeal for Additional Information, (Richmond Division of Purchase and Printing, 1941), accessed October 19, 2016,
  2. William Booth Taliaferro and Ludwell H. Johnson, "William Booth Taliaferro's Letters from Mexico, 1857-1848", The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 73 (Oct., 1965), 455-473, accessed October 19, 2016,
  3. William Booth Taliaferro, U. S. Find A Grave Index 1600s-Current, "William Booth Taliaferro" (1822-18), Memorial #11087, record added July 16, 2000, accessed January 28, 2019,


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A note about the contents of this site

This website contains the best available information from known sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.