Bailey Montgomery Talbot
1834 - 1864
One of the most poignant stories of the Civil War period is that of Bailey
Montgomery Talbot and his beautiful wife Mary (Mullins) Talbot. Talbot
was born at Orion, Pike County, Alabama in August 1834. He commanded
Company H, 57th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He was killed in July
of 1864 at the age of 29 at the Battle of Peachtree Creek near Atlanta
while gallantly leading a charge against the enemy..
The picure above of Captain Talbot is contributed by his Great-grandson, Colonel Bailey Montgomery Talbot, IV. Colonel Talbot was raised in Troy, Alabama and is presently retired from the Army living in Hampton, Virginia with his wife Frances. His sister, Mrs. Sarah (Talbot) Lawrence of Troy, has the original letter written by Talbot to his young son, Bailey, Jr., who was an infant at the time. The letter follows:
the Field 5 miles North Atlanta Ga.
July 19th 1864
For the first time I now write you a letter. Under some circumstances I would call it silly and uncalled for to address one so young as yourself by letter but under such circunstances which I write I am convinced that it will do no harm, but hope you may derive pleasure and benefit therefrom. I am not indifferent to the fact that it is very likely the fate that Southern people are now engaged in, may deny me the pleasure of ever seeing your face again.
In such an event you will lose
the advice of experience of a Father. You will be reared by a widowed
mother, whom my dear Boy I know you will duly obey, confide in, reverence,
and appreciate. History will explain why I am absent from your mother,
sister, and yourself today. Should I fall fighting for what history
will tell you, my boy avenge the blood of your father. But now let
us look at the other side of the picture. Let us hope soon to gain
Southern Independence and I will be home with you, Mother, and Nettie.
What a happy time. Grow fast. Next time I come home, hope it will
not be long, I want to hear you say Father. Now Bailey be a good
boy, always be kind to your Mother and sister, and follow the advice of
your Mother. May God protect you, make you a pious wise, useful,
and honorable man is the prayer of
Bailey M. Talbot
Talbot was killed in action within the same month
that he wrote the above. His family lived for a while with his wife's father,
Thomas K. Mullins, at his plantation at Allred in Pike County. Mary
Mullins Talbot was left a widow at the age of 24. A daguerrotype of her
and her husband shows her as a striking beauty. After the death of
her husband, the lovely Mary Talbot did not lack for suitors. Her
charm was well know and many swains came to court her. But Mary Talbot
was in love with a memory, and she spurned all would-be suitors.
Her son, Bailey, Jr., did nothing to further the suits of these gentlemen.
According to family tradition, young Bailey would untie the horses which
the gentlemen rode to the house and chase them away. Mary Talbot
moved to Troy and taught a private school for a number of years.
It is doubtful that this was very lucrative for she taught the children
of veterans without fee. The children of Bailey and Mary Talbot were
Nettie Talbot who married Jere C. Henderson, and Bailey Montgomery Talbot,
Jr., who married Minnie Gellerstedt.