Date of Award

Spring 1984

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Peter C. Stewart

Committee Member

James R. Sweeney


This biography examines Colonel Walter Herron Taylor’s involvement in the development of Norfolk, Virginia, into a modern urban seaport. Although this thesis depicts Taylor’s role as Robert E. Lee’s adjutant and Civil War historian, it clearly demonstrates that his civic accomplishments in the post-war era considerably outweighed his efforts for the Confederacy.

Colonel Taylor's lifetime career in banking and commerce reflected the changing society of the South from a backward province into a modern industrial and sophisticated section. The author illustrates the Colonel’s participation in Norfolk's growth from the stormy Reconstruction period to the eve of World War I. Throughout these years many significant municipal and social reforms were aided by, or were a direct result of, Colonel Taylor’s activities.


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