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Cyril Tyler Letters

Identifier: A-2659

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of 0.25 cubic feet of 52 letters from 1861-1878, photocopies and transcriptions. 48 of which were written by Cyril H. Tyler (1841-1913), a Michigan resident who fought in the Civil War with the 7th Michigan Infantry, Company One.

While in the military Cyril wrote letters to his parents, Rufus and Emma, and his siblings, Solon and Celesta. The majority of his letters detailed the condition of his health, what he had done recently (mainly camp life, no war related information) and a recap of previous correspondence.


  • Majority of material found within 1861-1878

Biographical / Historical

Cyril Tyler (1841-1913) was born in Italy, New York and later moved to Wakeshma Township, Kalamazoo County in 1860. Cyril married Mary Foote (1839-1924) on August 14th, 1861. About a week later Cyril enlisted into Company One, Michigan 7th Infantry on August 22nd and would remain with the 7th until he mustered out in August 22nd, 1864. The 7th Michigan was comprised of 1375 men and was composed of several counties throughout Michigan. The 7th was involved in many battles throughout the Civil War, most notably: The Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Cold Harbor and the Siege of Petersburg and fortunately only suffered 347 casualties in all.

After the war Cyril returns to Wakeshma Township to be a farmer and him and his wife Mary raised four daughters: Carrie, Laurie, Cora and Bessie. In 1880 the Tyler’s moved to Fife Lake, Grand Traverse County, Michigan to be a lumberman. They remained in Grand Traverse County until 1900 until the Tyler’s moved to Wexford County, Michigan were Cyril was a Capitalist and they would live there until Cyril’s death in November 1913.


0.25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Description

This collection is composed of 52 letters that ranged from 1861-1878. There are 36 original letters which are tied to the photocopies, and there are transcriptions of different letters included as well. The majority of the letters were written by Cyril H. Tyler and the remaining letters were: 1 poem copied by Cyril called “All Quiet along the Potomac tonight.” 1 letter written by Orlando Porter who was a member of the 7th Michigan Infantry. 1 letter written by Elias Foote who was a former member of the 7th Michigan. 1 letter written by an Ione (Tyler) Mears. There are also 6 envelopes that use to hold original letters.

The original letters are in good shape, there is minimal fading and tearing and the originals are still legible, the envelopes are in good condition with slight tearing however they are still legible. Finally, the photocopies and the transcriptions are in great condition and clear and legible. The size of the original letters and envelopes are “8x10.5” and “5.5x3” the size of the transcriptions are “8.5x11” and the size of the photocopies are “11x14.”


This collection was originally owned by Preston Smith and was sent to the Leelanau Historical Museum until it was donated to the WMU Archives in 1990.

Cyril Tyler Letters
Ian Daly
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490