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      Battle Of
       West Point
 The Battle of West Point

A Fierce Battle   

        Heavy artillery and a fierce battle ensued.  LaGrange ordered 3 regiments to assault Ft. Tyler while he led the 4th Indiana in a dash across the wagon bridge to secure a footing on the east side of the Chattahoochee River. As he re-crossed the bridge a shot from one of the fort cannons killed LaGrange's horse and stunned the Colonel. He would rethink his strategy for another three hours. 

        Tyler  flew a flag given him by the town. He promised he'd die before he  surrendered it.  

        Early in the battle, the flagpole had been damaged by enemy fire.  "A shell fragment severed the halyard on the flagpole, allowing the garrison flag to flutter free.  With a hatchet in his belt and two staples in his teeth, 17-year old Sgt. Charlie McNeil shinnied up the pole, under fire, and nailed the rope in place."  He is said to have been greeted by a chorus of Rebel yells as he waved a defiant salute to the Yankee gunners and slid back down the pole.

        Shortly after noon, Tyler kept his promise. He had been advised to destroy nearby homes to deny attackers any cover, but he had refused. Union sharpshooters infesting those homes had a clear shot through the fort's south entrance, the only breach in its 8-foot-thick earthen walls.   Just inside the entrance was a barricade 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide to absorb any shots fired through the gap.  

Next Page    Tyler Dies

 

Sources:

  Randall Allen, "A Most Voluntary Gathering,"  The Battle of West Point, Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society, 1997, pp. 23-34

  Randall Allen, "A Most Voluntary Gathering,"  The Battle of West Point, Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society, 1997, pp. 23-34

  Donald J. Downs, "Last Fort or Redoubt Battle of the War Between the States?  It Could Easily Have Been," pp. 3