Hylan Benton Lyon

Monument: Find-a-Grave

Hylan Benton Lyon was born at "River View," Caldwell (now Lyon) County, Kentucky, February 22, 1836. Orphaned at the age of eight, he attended a number of Kentucky schools before receiving an appointment to West Point in 1852. He was graduated four years later as a brevet 2nd lieutenant of artillery, and resigned on April 30, 1861 to enter Confederate service. First a battery captain, he was elected lieutenant colonel of the 8th Kentucky Infantry on February 3, 1862, was taken prisoner at Fort Donelson, and was exchanged after seven months' imprisonment on Johnson's Island. His regiment was assigned to General Lloyd Tilghman's division of the army of West Tennessee and served at Holly Springs and Vicksburg. Lyon made his escape from the latter place during the siege, together with his command. His rank of brigadier general dates from June 14, 1864. He commanded a brigade of four Kentucky cavalry regiments in Forrest's corps until, toward the end of the war, he succeeded General Adam R. Johnson in command of the District of Western Kentucky. During the battle of Chattanooga he had temporary charge of all of Bragg's artillery, the greater part of which he brought off the held after the Confederate defeat. General Lyon went to Mexico upon the close of hostilities, returned to Kentucky in 1866, and farmed near Eddyville for a time. He was later one of the lessees of the state penitentiary, and also served as a commissioner to build a branch penitentiary at Eddyville. He died on his farm there, April 25, 1907. He is buried in Eddyville.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.

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