Romeyn Beck Ayres

Romeyn Beck Ayres was born at the crossroads of East Creek in Montgomery County, New York, on December 20, 1825. His father, a country physician, trained him so thoroughly in Latin that Ayres was regarded as an authority in it among the cadets at the Military Academy from 1843 until his graduation in 1847. He served in garrison in Pue-bla and Mexico City after active hostilities in the Mexican War had ceased, and then had routine duty in many sections of the United States. He was advanced to captain of the 5th Artillery on May 14, 1861. He commanded a battery at First Manassas and continued with the Army of the Potomac until the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. His leadership was conspicuous as an artillery commander at Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg and as a brigade and division commander of infantry from Chancellorsville to Five Forks and Appomattox. At the end of the war Ayres was awarded the brevets of brigadier and major general, U. S. Army, and in 1866 was appointed lieutenant colonel of the newly created 28th Infantry. With the contraction of the Regular Army in the 1870's, General Ayres performed garrison duty at a number of posts, including Little Rock, Arkansas; Jackson Barracks, Louisiana; Key West, Florida; and other places in the South. On July 15, 1879, he was promoted to colonel of the 2nd Artillery, and supervised various army posts in Florida. He died at Fort Hamilton in New York Harbor on December 4, 1888; his remains were taken to Arlington National Cemetery for burial.

Previous Page

Reference:  Generals in Blue.  Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Louisiana State University Press.  Baton Rouge.