Erastus Barnard Tyler


Erastus Barnard Tyler was born April 24, 1822, in West Bloomfield, New York, but when he was still young his parents moved to Ohio, settling first at New Castle and subsequently at Ravenna. He was educated at Granville College (now Denison University), and then went into the fur business. He hunted for fur-bearing animals in the mountains of West Virginia and also purchased furs and skins from others which he prepared for market. At the outbreak of the Civil War he helped raise the 7th Ohio Volunteers and was elected its colonel over James A. Garfield. The regiment's first service was in West Virginia, where on August 28, 1861, it was surprised, while eating breakfast, and dispersed by John B. Floyd's Confederates. The following spring Tyler commanded a brigade of Shields's division at Kernstown and Port Republic and on May 14 was commissioned a brigadier general. In August he was given a brigade of the V Corps, which was in reserve at Sharpsburg but which was heavily engaged at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Soon afterward, these Pennsylvania regiments were mustered out by virtue of expiration of their terms of service, and General Tyler was assigned to a command in the Baltimore defenses on June 30, 1863. He remained on duty in and near Baltimore until the end of the war, discharging various functions, and in the omnibus promotions of March, 1865, was brevetted major general. Meantime, he married (for the second time) into a Baltimore family and continued to live there after he was mustered out of the army in August, 1865. He was active in the Masons, in the Grand Army of the Republic, and in 1877 was appointed postmaster of the city by President Hayes. On January 9, 1891, he died at his suburban home in Calverton, now a part of Baltimore, and was buried in Greenmount Cemetery.

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