Fort Tyler, Georgia
A small Confederate force
held off Union troops for
hours at Fort Tyler.
Grave of General Tyler
Gen. R.C. Tyler kept his word
to either prevail or die in the
effort. He was killed at Fort
Tyler and is buried nearby.
Fort Tyler Historic Site - West Point, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Fort Tyler Historic Site in West Point, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Fort Tyler Historic Site in West Point, Georgia
Fort Tyler
A replica of a 32-pounder cannon can be seen at
the reconstructed Fort Tyler in West Point, Georgia.
General R.C. Tyler's Last Stand
Brigadier General R.C. Tyler, the last general
to be killed during the Civil War, died while
making a heroic last stand at the
Battle of
West Point, a little known fight on the border
between Alabama and Georgia.

Fort Tyler was a square earthwork built atop
a high hill in West Point, Georgia. Its primary
purpose was to defend the vital bridge over
the
Chattahoochee River at West Point, a city
uniquely located on the west side of the river
on a point of land formed by the Alabama
border and the Chattahoochee.

Armed with three pieces of artillery, two field
guns and a 32-pounder, the fort played a
relatively minor role in the war until the spring
of 1865 when Union General James Wilson
began his devastating raid across Alabama
and Georgia. Dividing his advancing force,
Wilson moved with one column against
Columbus to the south, while Colonel Oscar
H. LaGrange led the other column against
West Point and Fort Tyler.

The attacks against both Columbus and
West Point took place on April 16, 1865, an
Easter Sunday. Although neither side knew it
at the time, General Robert E. Lee had
surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia a
full seven days earlier.

When LaGrange arrived at West Point, he
found Fort Tyler occupied by somewhere
between 120 and 265 Confederates led by
Brigadier General Robert C. Tyler. Wounded
repeatedly during the war, he had lost a leg
at Missionary Ridge. His little garrison was a
mixture of regulars, convalescents, militia
and volunteers.

Flying a flag given to him by the citizens of
West Point, the general defended Fort Tyler
with a vicious tenacity. Using his limited
artillery and volleys of musket fire, Tyler held
back three regiments sent by LaGrange to
attack the fort. Both sides exchanged fierce
artillery fire in an encounter that became
known as the
Battle of West Point.

Local tradition holds that prior to the battle
General Tyler had promised that he would
either achieve victory or die in the effort. He
died while walking in front of the wall of the
fort in a gesture of defiance to the attacking
Federals
.When the battle finally ended, Fort Tyler
surrendered. Union casualties included 7
killed and 29 wounded. Confederate losses
were 19 killed, 28 wounded and 218 missing
(captured). The dead from the battle are
buried across the river at the
Fort Tyler
Cemetery.

Fort Tyler has been beautifully reconstructed
on its original site, which was reclaimed after
years of use as a city reservoir. The fort is
located on 6th Avenue, 1/2 block north of 10th
Street near downtown West Point, Georgia. It
is open during daylight hours and there is no
admission fee.
Please click here to visit the
fort's outstanding website.

After inflicting heavy destruction on the
railroad and other military support facilities in
West Point, the Union troops moved on to
nearby LaGrange where they unexpectedly
encountered Georgia's famed all female
militia company,
the Nancy Harts.
Reconstructed Fort
Fort Tyler has been rebuilt on
its original site and is now
part of an outstanding park.
Magazine of Fort Tyler
The magazine of the fort was
blown up by Union troops
after the battle.
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.