Brigadier General, US Army.
The son of Colonel Alexander Tilford, veteran of the War of 1812. Entered the US Military Academy from Kentucky in 1847, and graduated Class of 1851, ranking 40 of 42 grads. Appointed 2nd Lieutenant, Mounted Rifles, on 1 July 1851. Promoted to 1st Lt, 14 June 1858, and to Captain, 3rd US Cavalry, 31 July 1861. Served at various posts in Texas in 1855, on the 1858 Utah expedition, and the 1859 Navaho expedition. At Fort Fauntleroy, New Mexico, at the outbreak of the Civil War. Marched with General Canby's force to Fort Craig, NM, where he engaged the Confederate 7th Texas Cavalry, fighting at Albuquerque and at Peralta, NM. Fought at Tuscumbia, Alabama, Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge, Tenn. Brevetted Major on 21 Feb 1862, and to Lt. Colonel on 13 March 1865. Married Cornelia Van Ness Dean on 9 Feb 1864 in St.Louis, MO. Appointed Major, 7th US Cavalry, on 14 Nov 1867. In the 1874 Black Hills expedition. On leave of absence during the 1876 Sioux campaign. Appointed Post Commander, Fort Rice, ND, in 1876, Fort Lincoln, ND in 1877, and Fort Buford, ND in 1882. Promoted to Lt. Col, 7th Cavalry, Sept 1883, and Colonel, 9th Cavalry, on 11 April 1889. Retired 1 July 1891, moving to New York City. Promoted to Brigadier General, retired, on 23 April 1904. Died at age 82 from croupous pneumonia. Survived by widow, daughter Cornelia, and son James. The town of Tilford, South Dakota, was named in his honor.
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