Robert Ogden Tyler (1831 – 1874)

Robert Ogden Tyler, Civil War Photo

Born December 22, 1831 in Hunter, New York, Robert Ogden Tyler was the son of Frederick and Sophie Tyler. When he was seven years old, his family moved to Hartford, Connecticut, and, as a teenager, he was appointed by the state of Connecticut to the United States Military Academy at West Point from which he graduated in 1853. Several of Tyler’s ancestors served in the military, including his paternal grandfather who was a soldier in the American Revolution.

Assigned to the 3d artillery, Tyler was engaged in the hostilities of the Spokane expedition of 1858. In April 1861, he was at the bombardment of Fort Sumter, which is recognized as the battle that started the American Civil War. Over the next several months, Tyler climbed the military ladder from assistant quartermaster with the rank of captain to colonel during which time he undertook the reorganizations of the 4th Connecticut regiment. Under his command, the 4th Connecticut Infantry was recognized as one of the best in the army. Battles in which he fought include the Peninsula Campaign, Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of Gettysburg, Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, and Battle of Cold Harbor.

While serving as the Division Commander of the 22d corps, Tyler and his men were publically recognized by General Meade for driving back an attack on Ewell’s corps during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Tyler’s military career was cut short at the Battle of Cold Harbor when he suffered a severe foot wound that impacted him for the rest of his life.

After the war, Tyler was promoted to the rank of Brevet Major-General. While he continued to serve with the Army until his death, his wartime injuries eventually led to his demise. Tyler died in Boston on December 1, 1874 just weeks shy of his 43rd birthday.

Tyler, Robert Ogden and George Washington Cullum.  Memoir of Brevet Major-General Robert Ogden Tyler. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott, 1878.
Virtual American Biographies.  Robert Ogden Tyler.  Accessed at on July 8, 2008.
Wikipedia. Robert O. Tyler. Accessed at on January 26, 2011.

Photo Credit: Robert Ogden Tyler, Civil War Photographs, 1861-1865, Library of Congress