Erastus Bernard Tyler

Union General Erastus B. Tyler        Erastus Bernard Tyler was born in West Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York, 24 April, 1822. He removed to Ohio, and was educated at Granville college. In 1845 he engaged in business; a successful fur merchant based in what is now West Virginia, he was appointed as Colonel and commander of the 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a unit he helped recruit, and whose Lieutenant Colonel was future United States President James Garfield. 

        Stationed near Kesslers Cross Lanes in (West) Virginia in August 1861, the unit got its first experience in the war when it was surprised and routed by a Confederate brigade under General John B. Floyd. In early 1862 he was advanced to brigade command, and fought against General Thomas Stonewall Jackson in his brilliant Valley Campaign. He commanded the Union Forces in the June 9, 1862 Battle of Port Republic, and was defeated by Jackson in the last battle of the Campaign. On the previous May 14 he had been commissioned Brigadier General, US Volunteers. 

        In August 1862 he was assigned to command the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division of the Army of the Potomacs V Corps, whom he led in the Battles of Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. At Sharpsburg, his brigade was held in reserve with the rest of the V Corps, and saw no action, but at Fredericksburg it took part in the 5th Union assault on the impregnable Confederate position behind the famed Stone Wall, and sustained heavy casualties (General Tyler himself being wounded). At the Battle of Chancellorsville, the First Brigade helped hold the right flank of the III Corps line, fighting the Confederate brigade of General Alfred Colquitt to a standstill, and sustaining 240 casualties. After the battle three of his four regiments were mustered out of service, leaving him without a command. At the end of June 1863 he was assigned to command the defenses of Baltimore, Maryland, a post he would hold until the end of the War. In March 1865 Tyler was brevetted Major General, US Volunteers, and was mustered out of service in August of that year. 

        He remained in Baltimore for the rest of his life (having married a local woman during the war), and became one of its prominent citizens. He served a term as the citys Postmaster, and died there January 9, 1891.

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