Captain Oliver Triangle

Captain Oliver Triangle

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This triangle, located at the junction of East 161st Street, Third Avenue, and St. Anne’s Avenue in the Bronx neighborhood of Morrisania, honors the memory of Captain Oliver Tilden (1828-1862), the first Morrisanian soldier to give his life for the Union cause during the Civil War.

Oliver Tilden was born and raised in Morrisania, and opened a small carpentry shop on 162nd Street and Eagle Avenue. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Tilden enlisted in the Union Army and helped organize Company A of the 38th Volunteer New York Infantry Regiment. The 38th Regiment consisted of five infantry companies from New York City and five companies from Westchester. As the New York Regiment joined with the Army of the Potomac, Tilden was appointed Captain of Company E. During the war, Tilden fought in several bloody engagements, including the Battle of Manassas and the Seven Days Battle.

After a grueling year and a half of fighting, Tilden was killed in a combat near Chantilly, Virginia on September 1, 1862. When his body was returned to Morrisania, Tilden was buried in the Bensonia Cemetery on St. Anne’s Avenue. In 1878 his remains were transferred to Woodlawn Cemetery, making Tilden the first Civil War soldier to be buried there. With the demise of the Confederacy in 1865, surviving Union veterans formed the Grand Army of the Republic. Bronx veterans of the Morrisanian Post, No. 96 renamed their post in memory of Tilden. In 1883, the Sons of Veterans of the Civil War supplanted the Grand Army of the Republic as the sponsor for the post, but the new local chapter continued to honor the Civil War captain, renaming Oliver Tilden Camp.

In 1948 the City of New York purchased this property and transferred control of it to the Bronx Borough President. In 1961 the City gave Parks responsibility for the maintenance of this property. On December 5, 1974, due in large part to the suggestion of Bronx County Historical Society Member Berthold Sack, a grandson of two Civil War veterans, the Morrisania property was renamed to honor Tilden. In the spring of 1998, Parks planted young apple trees (Roseceae malus) in the triangle’s woodchip area.

Park Information

Directions to Captain Oliver Triangle

Was this information helpful?