also began to meet with the citizens of West Point. Many gave pleas
for information or assistance.
In 1915, Mrs. George Lee Croft (Charlotte
Cherry) wrote of her personal experiences of April 16, 1865,
for the fiftieth anniversary of the battle. She wrote that after the
battle was lost, “… bodies,
under promise to General Tyler’s mother that she would do so should he be
killed or wounded.”
- Based on the accuracy of this statement, it bears historical
significance. The reference to a promise made to Tyler’s mother is one of
only two records ever discovered which mention any communication with a
living member of Tyler’s family during Tyler’s lifetime. No such
reference has been made after his death. The origin of Tyler's family
has never been claimed or discovered Most historians believe that Tyler’s parents had died before Tyler had reached his teens.
family member ever applied for his pension or claimed his remains. It
is unknown if any family member every visited the grave site.)
continues, “She sought General
LaGrange, the Yankee commander, herself and made the request for a permit to
the fort. He generously gave it
to her, and furnished her also with an
ambulance and a guard.”
Mrs. Bull recovered the body of Tyler. She found that Gonzales
wounded and just
barely hanging on to life. She transported them both to her home in
the provided ambulance
provided by the Union. Knowing his wounds were mortal, she provided
comfort care to Gonzales. During the night, she prepared Tyler’s
body for burial.
By morning, Gonzales had died.
At daylight “….
question arose as to
where they should secure coffins for
the burial, so the two men, Mr. (Orrin or Oroon) Winston and Mr. (William)
Shepard went to the home of Mr. Winston, and finding some planks in his
smoke house, in a rough way sawed lliam Shepard, and Mrs. Bull’s mother, Mrs. Reese) bore them
out to old Hopewell, the family burial
ground of the
Reese’s, on an ox wagon owned by Mr. Winston, the women of the party
walking beside. Mr. Winston and Mr. Shepard dug the graves, and there they
lay until removed… over the river, (to) where they now slumber.”
Joe Keith, Jr., "Aftermath: Written for the
130th Anniversary of the Battle of West Point"