The Dual Headstone/Iron Cross dedication for the Tyler brothers.

In August of 2001, I wrote a poem, for my dear friend Sheri Millikin, of Hanover VA..
The subject matter was two of Sherri`s ancestors, who had both fought for the Confederacy.

Private Henry Chapman Tyler, 24th Virginia Cavalry, and Private Rueben Austin Tyler, 24th Virginia Cavalry.

On April 3 2004, a dual dedication and gravemarking ceremony was held, there follows a report, prepared by Sheri, on the proceedings.

Program, front cover

Program, back cover.

Inside of the program.

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There now follows photographs of the proceedings, in chronological order, with notes.

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Tyler family members and friends gather for the headstone/cross dedication program Saturday, April 3rd in the cemetery of Enon United Methodist Church, Studley Road, Mechanicsville, VA.

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The scene prior to the dedication. The two graves can be seen, draped in black at center

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The Capt. Wm. Latane Camp Color Guard

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Rob Millikin (Commander of The Hanover Dragoons Camp #827, Sons of Confederate Veterans) gets the program started off with the Capt. Wm. Latane Camp Color Guard behind him.

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Mrs. Mary Kofron (President of the Hanover Chapter No. 1399, United Daughters of the Confederacy) welcomes everyone in attendance.

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Mr. Linny Kammeter (Chaplain of The Hanover Dragoons Camp #827) gives the Invocation and leads the assembly in the Lord’s Prayer

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Miss Christina Toney (a Tyler family descendant and member of the Hanover Chapter UDC) reads the poem “The Steeds of Memory” written by Mr. Roy Rawlinson of Liverpool, England.

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Sheri Millikin (me) reads the “Tribute to the Tyler Brothers” that she wrote in honor and memory of "our two Tyler Confederate ancestors, Rueben Austin Tyler and Henry Chapman Tyler."
(Mrs S Milliken is a family descendant and member of the Hanover Chapter UDC)

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Tyler family descendants (grandchildren and grandnephew) prepare to unveil the headstones.

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The Tyler family unveil the headstones

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The Tyler family stand for a moment, beside the headstones and crosses.

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Mr. Tim Batten of “Pipes of Argyll” played “Amazing Grace” and “Dixie”.
Few dry eyes during the first song and many smiles and tapping feet during the second song. Tim is also a SCV member and participates in many Celtic festivities.

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Mr. Louis “Bubba” Smith presents the first wreath on behalf of the Virginia Division, SCV

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Mr. David Rice presents the next wreath on behalf of the Latane Camp #1690

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Mr. Hurshell Fornash, Jr. (aka “Tinker”) presents the last wreath on behalf of The Hanover Dragoons Camp #827

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Mrs. Kofron reads the poem “The Grey Rider” written by Thomas E. Quinn.

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The James River Rangers from Buckingham County,VA

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The Color Guard military salute to the Tyler brothers.

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The Color Guard military salute to the Tyler brothers.

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The Color Guard military salute to the Tyler brothers.

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The Color Guard military salute to the Tyler brothers.

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The Cavakry`s silent tribute.

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Cmdr. Millikin ends the ceremony, thanking everyone for their love, support and attendance (both in person and in spirit)

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The dediactions, and other material.

The Steeds Of Memory

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They ride the steeds of memory
Down rainbows, never seen
To talk in clouds, at eventide
Above your fields, so green
They speak of time now ever be,
Of battle, named HAW`s Shop,
For that was where these Tyler men
Did Yankees try to stop.

For Rueben, and poor Henry
Forever known as “Chap”,
Now destined to be parted,
Lord, how to fill such gap?
Chap Tyler died in `64
The sixteenth day of June
And his soul did sail to Heaven,
Beyond a silver moon

For Rueben now, came mournful task,
To bring poor Henry home,
So lay him with his kith and kin,
As sorrow Wracked the bone.
Then back to war, and captured now
In Libby to reside
To bear the pain and torment,
Of Chap, and how he died

Now time has passed, an age gone by
They lie within this land
This cavalry of Hanover
This brave remembered band
They ride the steeds of memory
Down rainbows, never seen
To talk in clouds, at eventide
Above your fields, so green

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Dedication of Grave Markers and Flags

Mr. Robert T. Millikin, III, Commander, The Hanover Dragoons Camp #827, SCV

Nothing is ended until it is forgotten. That which is held in memory still endures and is real. We are grateful for the records of the past, which bring inspiration and courage. We are appreciative of the lessons taught by Memorials to events and deeds of long ago. We pray that our lives may always be patterned to give such devotion and service as our forefathers of this great Southland.

We, the members of The Hanover Dragoons Camp #827, Sons of Confederate Veterans, now dedicate these two markers in grateful recognition – of the noble service of these brothers of Hanover County, Virginia, Private Henry Chapman Tyler and Private Reuben Austin Tyler – Confederate Heroes, both of the 24th Virginia Cavalry, CSA.

May these markers be blessed. May they remind all who pause not only of the noble deeds of these Confederate heroes of the 24th Virginia Cavalry, but of the continuing need for unselfish service. From this moment of dedication, we trust there may come inspiration for broader vision and finer service.

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Dedication:

Not for fame or fortune;
Not for place or rank;
Not lured by ambition;
Or goaded by necessity;
But in simple
Obedience to duty
As they understood it,
These men suffered all,
Sacrificed all
Dared all – and died

~~~The Rev. Dr. Randolph McKm

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History and Dedication of Southern Crosses of Honor

Mrs. Mary D. Kofron, President – Hanover Chapter #1399, UDC

During the War Between the States, the Federal Government acknowledged special actions by their military personnel and awarded the Medal of Honor to the Union Veterans of the United States of America.

The South, not to be out done, came up with a counter part, the Southern Cross of Honor. Whereas the North had plenty of metal to make their medals, the opposite was true in the South. Every scrap piece of metal was precious for the making of ordinances of every kind. The Confederate Congress decided the men would be honored after the War Between the States when there was no longer a shortage. The result from the surrender at Appomattox was that there was no longer a Confederate Congress to award anything to anyone.

After the United Daughters of the Confederacy was formally organized in 1894, one of the goals of the Organization was to honor the memory of those who served and those who fell in the service of the Confederate States of America and to acknowledge these Confederate Veterans with the Southern Cross of Honor, now more commonly referred to as the Iron Cross.

It gives me great pleasure, as President of the Hanover Chapter No. 1399, United Daughters of the Confederacy, to dedicate this Southern Cross of Honor to Private Henry Chapman Tyler, 24th Virginia Cavalry and this Southern Cross of Honor to his younger brother, Private Rueben Austin Tyler, 24th Virginia Cavalry.

Dedication:

Southern Veterans, who wore these Crosses;
Emblems of our Southland’s losses;
Losses, death alone can drown.
When the last Reveille’s sounded,
When sin’s hosts their arms have grounded,
He in whom our faith is founded,
Who bore the cross – for us was wounded,
Will for each cross exchange a crown.

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The Grey Rider

by Thomas E. Guinn

Out of the sunrise, at the dawn of the day;
Thunder of hoof beats, coming our way.
A sight such as this, we had to behold;
Not in a lifetime, is what we were told.

Off in the distance, come now what may;
Like out of the past, these riders in grey
It never could happen, nor should it be;
Yet we beheld, and now we could see.

Horsemen they rode, on stallions of light;
In glory and honour, from out of the night.
They passed us so bravely, as never before;
We couldn't help wonder, what was in store.

They rode with the wind, with little to say;
These riders of dixie, at the coming of day.
Now we were seeing, in galloping stride;
Power and glory, of our Southern pride.

See the grey riders, come like a cloud;
Their gallant legions, make us so proud.
If ever we need them, this is the day;
Ride like the wind, and into the fray.

Heavenly Father, grant us the might;
Roll back our foe, in panic and flight.
God in your wisdom, permit us the way;
Send us our soldiers, the riders in grey.

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Tribute to the Tyler Brothers

By Sheri Millikin

I have tried several times to think of just what I could say that would be a fitting tribute to both Henry Chapman and Rueben Austin Tyler and what I kept coming back to were three very simple things – Duty, Honor and Love for Family.

Henry Chapman Tyler and Rueben Austin Tyler were the two oldest sons of at least nine known children of Mr. & Mrs. John Pettus Tyler. They grew up within walking distance of this very spot.

Duty is defined as an obligation or that which a person is bound to perform out of respect. When Virginia voted to secede from the Union in April of 1861, men were called far and wide to serve in the Confederate military in Virginia. Henry Chapman and Rueben Austin answered this call of Duty and enlisted in the Confederate military.

They both originally joined the 40th Virginia Battalion, which later became the 24th Virginia Cavalry. Henry Chapman was a mere 20 years of age and Rueben, his younger brother, was just 18 years of age. They were placed in Company A of the 24th Virginia Cavalry together and shortly afterwards were split into two Companies, A & B. Henry Chapman serving as a Scout for General Lee and Rueben Austin serving a s part of the defense of the Richmond area in this active regiment. It was between the time period of Yellow Tavern and the “Haw’s Shop Battle” or Battle of Enon Church as it is also commonly referred to, that their lives changed forever. It was during this time that “Chap” was severely wounded in the head and hand while serving in this unique detail as a scout. “Chap” was admitted to General Hospital No. 9 on May 27, 1864, transferred to Jackson Hospital on May 29, 1864, transferred to Chimborazo Hospital on June 3, 1864. “Chap” later died from these wounds at Chimborazo Hospital on June 16, 1864 at the tender age of 23.

Family legend has it, that the brief time Rueben appears AWOL on his military records, which is also the time that his older brother was wounded and shortly afterwards died, was to go see his brother and bring his brother’s body home. While nothing has appeared to show this with all certainty, it does seem possible since their father made the trip later to recover “Chap’s” personal belongings. Rueben was later captured and taken to Libby Prison in Richmond. He remained there until taking the Oath of Allegiance and surrendering on April 21st, 1865, twelve days after General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. There is no doubt that these Tyler brothers served Virginia and the Confederacy honorably.

“Chap” never had the chance to marry or bear any children. He never knew any love of family other than the love his own parents and siblings felt for him during his 23 years. Rueben went on to marry twice, first to Margaret Jane Thomas with whom he had at least nine known children. After she passed away, he married Christianna Kirby and had at least two more children. From these eleven known children, he became the grandfather to at least thirty-four grandchildren and this family continued to grow and grow. Rueben’s first-born child was a boy, born just a few years after the end of the war, whom he lovingly and respectfully named, Wesley Chapman Tyler.

I’m so thrilled to mention that some of Rueben’s grandchildren are here with us today and it also worth mentioning that descendants from this family are in all three local SCV Camps, one local UDC Chapter, and even in a local Chapter of the Children of the Confederacy. Today we have come together to do our duty to family who were Confederate Veterans. We have come together to honor them in a respectful and memorable way. We have come together because of our love for our family. There can be no better tribute to these two men than what we are doing today because of the simple fact, we carry on their tradition of the very same things…Duty, Honor and Love for Family.

Thank you.

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I did a little work on one or two photographs, plus, Sheri was kind enough to e mail me a phot of Reuben.

Here they are.

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Private Rueben Austin Tyler, 24th Virginia Cavalry.

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It is such a shame that I live so far from Virginia, 5,000 moles away. I would dearly have loved to be there with you, and I was in spirit.

But, to have the opportunity, to place this on my site, for all the Tyler family and friends to see, is truly a great honor to me.

And I thank both Sheri and Robert, for allowing me the privilige of calling them my friends.

God Bless you all.

Roy Rawlinson, April 8 2004.

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How the event was advertised in Hanover VA