General Robert C. Tyler
General Robert Charles Tyler
Robert Charles Tyler was born in 1833, in an area between the cities of Memphis and Jackson, Tennessee. His family moved to Baltimore, Maryland when he was a young child. At the age of two his father remarried and his family moved to Alabama, near the Georgia State line. Robert stayed with his uncle on his father's side, Alexander Tyler in Maryland.
From there he went on to California, where he embarked on a expedition to South America (Nicaragua) in 1856 with the filibuster, William Walker. They were fighting a revolution in Nicaragua, and came to a hero's welcome. It was said that the men that sailed into New York were but skeletons. In 1860 he was not on Walker's ill-fated expedition to Nicaragua, but seems to have been employed in Baltimore and later moved to Memphis, Tennessee.
In 1861, he enlisted in Company D, 15th Army of the Tennessee, Infantry, as a private. He stated his age as twenty-eight.
His promotions within the Confederate Army were rapid. First a Regimental Quartermaster ,he commanded the 15th Tennessee at the battles of Belmont and Shiloh with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Upon the reorganization of the unit at Corinth, he was elected Colonel.
He was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, but not before rallying his men forward. He had three horses shot out from under him that day of the 7th. He acted for a time after his wounding as Provost Marshal for General Braxton Bragg during the invasion of Kentucky in the fall of 1862.
He won a victory at the Battle of Chickamauga, as the right flank of General Longstreet. He single handedly dragged a Yankee cannon back to his lines.
He was shot at Point Lookout Mountain, where he was so badly wounded it caused the amputation of his left leg. While convalescing the following spring he was commissioned Brigadier General to rank from Feburary 23, 1864. He then went to Selma, Alabama to help defend that city from the coming Yankees. He was then posted to duty at West Point, Georgia, Tyler was present there during most of the winter of 1864 - 1865. On Easter, April 16, 1865 with a handful of extra-duty men, militia and soldiers en route to rejoin their commands, he defended a small earthwork on the west side of town against a full brigade of Federal Cavalry, part of the corps of Major General James H. Wilson. In the course of the storming of the work, called Fort Tyler now, he was killed by a sharpshooter. Seven days after the end of the war and the last known General to die in the War Between the States.
He is buried in West Point, Georgia.
Reference and information supplied by W. Ken Tyler, Great,Great Grandson of Gen. Tyler and the book "Generals in Gray" by Ezra J. Warner.
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