The Death of Sergeant James Alfred Taylor



James A. Taylor, was a well known and very efficient police officer in Cape Charles, VA. He was shot and killed by Jerry Warren, a man he attempted to arrest. He was taken to Norfolk Hospital that afternoon, where he died two hours after his arrival. On that Thursday night there was a row at a festival with which the people were celebrating and two sailors attempting to restore order were shot by Warren and one of them seriously wounded. About 5 O'Clock Friday morning a squad of sailors sent from the island and guided by Taylor, surrounded the hut in the suburbs to which Warren had fled. Taylor with his usual intrepidity entered the house first and received three shots from Warren, the last and fatal one in the abdomen. Sergeant Taylor was born in Delaware (1856) and as a boy moved to Chincoteague Island with his family. He entered the Life Saving Service and was for many years, stationed at Smiths Island. In 1893 he came to Cape Charles, where his first wife was dying. He married the second time and leaves a widow and 8 children, the youngest ten years old. He was buried on Monday from the Catholic Church to which he became a convert in 1890 and continued always a practical and active member. He was one of the trustees of the Cape Charles Church. Deep regret at his death is felt, not only in this town, but throuhout the county, as he had been always not only an officer whose place it will be difficult to fill, but in every way a highly respected and upright man. [Note: Jerry Warren, charged with killing Sergt. James Taylor of Cape Charles, on November 30th last and shooting two sailors, was tried before Judge James Fletcher, at Eastville on Thursday and sentenced to be electrocuted June 27th.] (Eastern Shore Herald Obit-7 Dec 1918).1 His body was interred at Cape Charles Cemetary, Northhampton County, VA. His tombstone shows him as James A. Taylor, 21 Jul 1856 - 29 Nov 1918, erected by the Mayor & Council of Cape Charles.

Jean Merritt Mihalyka (compiler)., Gravestone Inscriptions in Northampton County, Virginia (Richmond, VA: Virginia State Library, 1984).

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