Robert Charles Tyler

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

Robert Charles Tyler stated his age as twenty-eight when he enlisted as a private in Company D, 15th Tennessee Infantry, on April 18, 1861. He is supposed to have been "born and reared" in Baltimore, although nothing positive is known of his early career until 1856, when he was embarked on the first expedition to Nicaragua of the filibuster, William Walker. In 1860 Tyler was not with the ill-fated Walker on the latter's second Nicaraguan expedition, but was apparently employed then in Baltimore; he later removed to Memphis, Tennessee. After enlistment his promotion in the Confederate Army was rapid. First a regimental quartermaster, he commanded the 15th Tennessee at the battles of Belmont and Shiloh with rank of lieutenant colonel; upon the reorganization of the regiment at Corinth, he was elected its colonel. He was wounded at Shiloh, and acted for a time as General Bragg's provost marshal during the invasion of Kentucky in the fall of 1862. Thereafter, Tyler was at the head of his regiment during the subsequent campaigns of the Tennessee Army, until he was so badly wounded at Missionary Ridge as to cause amputation of one of his legs. While convalescing the following spring he was commissioned brigadier general to rank from February 23, 1864, although he does not seem ever to have rejoined the main army. Posted to duty at West Point, Georgia, Tyler was present there during most of the winter of 1864-65. On 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, he was killed by a sharpshooter, and was buried in West Point.

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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