Sergeant George W. Taylor

Sergeant George W. Taylor

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions Division, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, March 15, 1884

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George W. Taylor

Sergeant George W. Taylor was employed at the East Texas Penitentiary near Rusk in Cherokee County as the “outside sergeant” or “dog sergeant” in charge of the bloodhounds used to chase escaping convicts. Every day he supervised the squads of 3-4 convicts, each with a convict guard, who were sent to work in the coal fields near the prison. Near sundown on Saturday, March 15, 1884, the convict squads were marching back to the prison when convicts T. W. Wallace, John Kennedy and G. W. Miller overpowered a guard and seized his 12 gauge double barreled shotgun. Another guard opened fire and wounded Wallace in the elbow, but the three convicts made their escape into the woods.

Sergeant Taylor and a group of guards, including his son, William Taylor, Hiram Newman, John J. Dial, Joe Summers and Assistant Superintendent (Captain) F. P. O’Brian, started trailing the escapees with a pack of bloodhounds. The dogs cornered the prisoners near a creek, but the darkness and thick brush made it difficult to see the prisoners across the creek. As the guards approached the baying dogs, a shotgun blast struck and wounded Guard Hiram Newman and his horse. Guard William Taylor and Captain O’Brian returned fire with pistols in the direction of the shotgun blast.

Sergeant Taylor called to the guards, “Don’t shoot anymore boys; they have no more loads, and we will get them now.” Sergeant Taylor called on the convicts to “put down that gun.” Unbeknownst to Sergeant Taylor, Wallace had purchased 21 shotgun cartridges from a source outside the prison. One of the convicts fired another shotgun blast that struck Sergeant Taylor in the breast and knocked him off his horse. The guards returned fire but the convicts escaped. William Taylor found his father lying dead in an opening near the creek.

It is unknown at this time if John Kennedy or G. W. Miller were ever captured or prosecuted. T. W. Wallace remained at large until May of 1885 when he returned to the prison. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

George W. Taylor was born in Alabama about 1825 and was about 59 at the time of his death. He married Caledonia Culp on February 15, 1855 and they had one son, William, about 1860. His wife apparently died and he remarried Mollie Welch on September 2, 1873 and they had a daughter named Eddie about 1877. His place of burial has not been located at this time.


  • Age 59
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender sentenced to life in prison

Most Recent Reflection

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Sgt. Taylor,
On today, the 140th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Texas. There is no tougher job in Law Enforcement than that of a Corrections Officer.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

March 15, 2024

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