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CDV, General Robert O. Tyler

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In the Battle of Gettysburg, Tyler's 130 guns pounded General George E. Pickett's advancing Confederate columns as they attempted to storm Cemetery Ridge, on July 3, 1863

Colonel of the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery

Wounded in action at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Va. in June 1864


(1831-74) A nephew of Union General Daniel Tyler, he was born in Hunter, New York, graduated from West Point in 1853, and entered the artillery branch of the U.S. service. At the military academy he was classmates of future Union generals James B. McPherson (KIA in 1864), and General John M. Schofield. In April 1861, he was an unexpected witness of the bombardment of Fort Sumter at the time being a member of the expedition that President Lincoln sent to relieve the fort. Tyler was commissioned Colonel of the 4th Connecticut Infantry in September 1861. They had previously performed badly in the Shenandoah Valley campaign, so when he took over command of the regiment he whipped them into shape and in January 1862 they were reconstituted as the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery. He later saw yeoman service in General George B. McClellan's 1862 Virginia Peninsular campaign. Although moving heavy guns is a very difficult undertaking, Tyler lost only one gun in the entire campaign. At the battle of Fredericksburg, he commanded the artillery of General Joseph Hooker's "Center Grand Division," and he was in charge of the Artillery Reserve at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Va. At Gettysburg his 130 guns pounded General George E. Pickett's advancing Confederate columns as they attempted to cross the Emmitsburg Pike, and storm Cemetery Ridge, on that hot fateful day of July 3, 1863. Tyler commanded a brigade of General John Gibbon's division, of the 2nd corps at Spotsylvania, and at Cold Harbor, he was cited for his great gallantry. Struck by a bullet in his ankle during the fighting, it would not only lame him permanently, but it would bring about his death at a young age. By the end of the war, Tyler was a major general in the Regular United States Army. He died in Boston, Mass., at the age of 42, and is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford, Conn. Before he died, he did manage to complete his autobiography, titled the "Memoir of Brevet Major General Robert Ogden Tyler," J.B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1878. The Robert O. Tyler Post #50, of the Grand Army of the Republic, in Hartford, was named in his honor.

Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 3/8 x 4 card. Bust view in uniform with rank of colonel. Bold period ink ID on the front mount, R.O. Tyler, Col. 1st C.V.A. [Connecticut Volunteer Artillery]. Back mark: R.W. Addis, Photographer, 308 Penna. Ave., Washington, D.C. Corners of the mount are slightly trimmed. Light scattered foxing. Scarce early war view.



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