Robert Ogden Tyler

Robert Ogden Tyler, a nephew of General Daniel Tyler, was born in the hamlet of Hunter, New York, on December 22, 1831, but as a boy of seven was taken by his parents to Hartford, Connecticut. He was appointed to the Military Academy in 1849 and was graduated in 1853, a classmate of James B. McPherson and of John M. Schofield. Posted to the artillery, he saw service in such widely separated parts of the country as Florida, Arizona, Washington, and Minnesota. In April, 1861, he became an unwilling spectator at the bombardment of Fort Sumter, as a member of the expedition sent to relieve the place. The next month he transferred to the staff in the Quartermaster's Department, acting as depot quartermaster at Alexandria. In September, Tyler was commissioned colonel of the demoralized 4th Connecticut Infantry Volunteers, a regiment which had been badly handled in the Shenandoah. He soon whipped it into shape and in January, 1862, it was renamed the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery. In the spring of that year Tyler took part in the Peninsular campaign in command of George B. McClellan's siege train. Despite the most trying difficulties in moving heavy ordnance from place to place, he lost but one gun during the whole campaign. Promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on November 29, 1862, he commanded the artillery of Joseph Hooker's "Center Grand Division" at Fredericksburg. He was in charge of the artillery reserve of the Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg where his 130 guns pounded George E. Pickett's advancing columns as they attempted to storm Cemetery Ridge on the third day of the battle. When the Virginia campaign of 1864 opened, U. S. Grant's heavy losses at the Wilderness resulted in the reconversion of heavy artillery regiments in the Washington defenses to infantry regiments which were sent to the front. Tyler commanded a brigade of Gibbon's division, II Corps, at Spotsylvania; at Cold Harbor he was struck in the ankle by a ball which not only lamed him permanently but brought about his death a decade later. At the end of the war he was brevetted major general in the Regular Army; he had already received the same brevet in the volunteers "for great gallantry at the Battle of Cold Harbor." When the army was reorganized in 1866, General Tyler was made deputy quartermaster general with rank of lieutenant colonel, but his presence at his various duty stations was interrupted by a number of trips abroad in an effort to improve his declining health. He died in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 1, 1874, and was buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford.

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