Daniel Tyler

Daniel Tyler, son of a veteran of the battle of Bunker Hill and uncle of General Robert O. Tyler, was born January 7, 1799, in Brooklyn, Connecticut. He prepared for Yale, but in 1816 went to the Military Academy, where he was graduated in 1819. He became an outstanding authority on artillery and ordnance, studying at the artillery school in Metz and translating the French systems into English. Later he was superintendent of inspectors of arms made by private contractors for the army. His rigid honesty in this position militated against his promotion, and he resigned in 1834, still ranked as a first lieutenant. During the next quarter-century he engaged unsuccessfully in the manufacture of pig iron and then was markedly successful in the promotion of a series of railroad and canal companies. His forte was taking over virtually bankrupt concerns and placing them on a profitable basis. For five years he was president of the Macon 8c Western Railroad in Georgia. When the Civil War came, Tyler became colonel of the 1st Connecticut Infantry, a ninety-day regiment, and brigadier general of Connecticut Volunteers. He commanded a division of Irvin McDowell's army at the battle of First Manassas and, because of exceeding his orders and undistinguished troop handling, was responsible for part of the Federal defeat, despite the fact that he later claimed the campaign "was gotten up by General McDowell . . . to make him the hero of a short war." Tyler was mustered out August 11, 1861, but the following March was appointed a brigadier general of U. S. Volunteers to rank from the thirteenth. He took part in the siege of Corinth, commanding a brigade of Stanley's division; was one of the commission which investigated General D. C. Buell's campaign in Kentucky and Tennessee; and in 1863 commanded the posts of Harpers Ferry and Baltimore, and later the District of Delaware. He resigned April 6, 1864, then past the retirement age of sixty-five. In the 1870's General Tyler founded the town of Anniston, Alabama (named for his daughter-in-law), which soon became an industrial complex including an iron works, a cotton mill, a water works, and a car factory—all exploiting the iron deposits of eastern Alabama. He subsequently acquired large tracts of land in Guadalupe County, Texas, and served as president of an Alabama railroad which he had rescued from financial difficulties. He died while on a visit to New York City on November 30, 1882, and was buried in Hillside Cemetery, Anniston.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.