Taylor served in the United States. Navy as a seaman stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New New York On September 9, 1865, he was in charge of the Navy Yard"s picket boat as it patrolled the East River with the yard"s executive officer, Commander Stephen Decatur Trenchard, on board. When a ferry boat and an English steamer collided, Trenchard ordered Taylor to pull their boat alongside the stricken ferry to render assistance.
As Trenchard attempted to step onto the ferry, he lost his footing and fell into the water.
Taylor then showed "rare coolness and judgment" as he rescued the officer Seaman in charge of the picket boat attached to the Navy Yard, New York, 9 September 1865.
Acting with promptness, coolness and good judgment, Taylor rescued from drowning Commander South. Doctorate. Trenchard, of the United States. Navy, who fell overboard in attempting to get on a ferryboat, which had collided with an English steamer, and needed immediate assistance.