★  Ayres, Romeyn B.

Romeyn Beck Ayres


December 20, 1825

East Creek, New York

Daniel Ayres 1787 – 1853

Mother: Electra Lamb 1797 – 1842

1st Wife: Emily Louise Gerry Dearborn 1829 – 1878
(Buried: Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Maine)​

2nd Wife: Juliet Opie Hopkins 1860 – 1925
(Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia)​


Helen R. Ayres Unknown – 1887​
(Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia)​
Edith Ayers Unknown – 1889​
(Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia)​
Romeyn D. Ayres 1851 – 1854​
(Buried: Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Maine)​
Colonel Charles Greenlief Ayres 1854 – 1909​
(Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia)​
Mary Bartlett Ayres Gayle 1856 – 1901​
(Buried: Oak Grove Cemetery, Portsmouth, Virginia)​
Emily Dearborn Ayres Howell 1859 – 1932​
(Buried: Machpelah Cemetery, Mount Sterling, Kentucky)​
Henry Dearborn Ayres 1864 – 1932​
(Buried: Woodlawn Memorial Park, Colma, California)​
George Hamilton Ayres 1866 – 1930​
(Buried: Woodlawn Memorial Park, Colma, California)​
Floyd W. Ayres 1871 – 1940​
(Burier: Erwin Fairview Cemetery, Painted Post, New York)​


1847: Graduated from West Point Military Academy – (22nd in class)​

Occupation before War:

1847: Brevet 2nd Lt. United States Army, 4th Artillery​
1847 – 1852: 2nd Lt. United States Army, 3rd Artillery​
1852 – 1861: 1st Lt. United States Army, 3rd Artillery​

Civil War Career:

1861 – 1866: Captain United States Army, 5th Artillery​

1861: Served in the Defenses of Washington, D.C.​
1861: Served in the Battle of Blackburn’s Ford, Virginia​
1861: Served in the First Battle of Bull Run, Virginia​
1861: Served in the Defenses of Washington, D.C.​
1861: Union Army recruiter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania​
1861 – 1862: Chief of Artillery for W.F. Smith’s Division​
1861 – 1862: Served in the Defenses of Washington, D.C.​
1862: Served in the Battle of Gaines Mill, Virginia​
1862: Served in the Battle of Antietam, Maryland​
1862 – 1866: Brigadier General of Union Army Volunteers Infantry​
1862: Chief of Artillery 6th Army Corps Battle of Fredericksburg, VA.​
1863: Brigade Commander during the Battle of Chancellorsville, VA.​
1863: Brigade Commander during the Gettysburg Campaign, PA.​
1863: Brevetted to the rank of Major Gallantry at Battle of Gettysburg​
1863: Division Commander in New York during the draft​
1863: Served in the Battle of Rappahannock Station, Virginia​
1864: Brevetted Lt. Colonel for Gallantry at Battle of the Wilderness​
1864: Wounded during the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia​
1864: Brevetted Major General of U.S. Vols. for his service in Battle​
1864: Brevetted Colonel U.S. Army Gallantry at Battle of Weldon R.R.​
1865: Brevetted Brig. General for Gallantry at Battle of Five Forks, VA.​
1865: Brevetted Major General for Gallantry in Battle​
1865: Commander of 3rd Division Provisional Army Corps​
1865 – 1866: Commander of District of the Shenandoah​
1866: Mustered out of Volunteer Service on April 30th

Occupation after War:

1861 – 1866: Captain United States Army, 5th Artillery​
1866 – 1867: Member of the U.S. Army Board of Tactics​
1866 – 1869: Lt. Colonel United States Army, 28th Infantry Regiment​
1867 – 1868: Frontier Duty at Little Rock, Arkansas​
1868 – 1870: Acting Assistant Inspector General Dept. of Louisiana​
1869 – 1870: Lt. Colonel United States Army, 19th Infantry Regiment​
1870 – 1879: Lt. Colonel United States Army, 3rd Artillery​
1879 – 1888: Colonel United States Army, 2nd Artillery​
1887: Commander of the U.S. Army Post of St. Francis Barracks​

December 4, 1888

Place of Death: Fort Hamilton, New York

Age at time of Death: 63 years old

Burial Place: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

Biography Except from The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, J. T. White, 1902.

AYRES, Romeyn Beck, soldier, was born at East Creek, Montgomery county, N.Y. Dec. 20, 1825.

He was graduated from West Point in 1847, and assigned to the 4th artillery as second lieutenant, by brevet, July 1, 1847, to the 3d artillery, Sept 22d, the same year as second lieutenant, and was ordered to Mexico, where he served until the close of the war. He was then on duty at various frontier posts, was promoted first lieutenant, March 16, 1852, and engaged at the artillery school for practice at Fortress Monroe, 1859-61.

Lieutenant Ayres had gained an excellent reputation as an artillerist, and when the civil war opened in 1861, he was promoted captain of the 5th artillery, May 14th, accepted June 28th, and was assigned to McDowell's command, and served in the defense of Washington, and in the Manassas campaign. At Blackburn's Ford and Bull Run he was chief of artillery, in Gen W.F. Smith's division, showing great gallantry in both actions.

Joining the army of the Potomac, he served through the peninsula campaign, 1862, engaged in the battles of Yorktown, Williamsburg, and the seven days battles, and others, his energy and military skill, being especially efficient at Yorktown, in protecting the troops from a destructive fire by the enemy. In the Maryland campaign, he took part in the Battle of South Mountain, and Antietam in 1862, in the Rappahannock campaign in 1862-63, at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

He was made brigadier general of volunteers Nov. 29, 1862. In the Pennsylvania campaign, 1863, Gen. Ares commanded a division of the 5th corps at Gettysburg. In the desperate struggle on Round Top, during the second day's battle, Gen Ayres's steady marching division swept up just in time to save the first corps from being driven back by the enemy, and turned the tide of victory. For gallantry at Gettysburg, he was brevetted major, July 2, 1863. He was recalled from the field to suppress the draft riots in New York City. Returning to his command in the Rapidan campaign 1863, he fought at Rappahannock Station, an Mile Run. He was engaged with his division in the Richmond campaign, 1864-65, beginning with the battle of the Wilderness; was severely wounded during the siege of Petersburg in June 1864, and was obliged to absent himself temporarily from the field but returned to active duty in August, and led his command successfully during the final engagements which culminated in the surrender of Gen. Lee's army at Appomattox Court House, Apr. 9, 1865.

On Aug. 5, 1864, he was brevetted lieutenant colonel for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battles of the Wilderness, and in August 1864, colonel, for distinguished services at the battle of Weldon railroad he was brevetted brigadier general, March 13, 1865, for bravery at the battle of Five Forks, Va. and major general the same date for gallantry in the field during the war. He was made major general of volunteers, Aug. 1, 1864 for conspicuous gallantry in the battles of the Virginia campaign.

After the war he commanded the district of Shenandoah until 1866, when he was mustered out of the volunteer service. On July 28, 1866, he was promoted lieutenant colonel of the 28th infantry, U.S. army, and colonel of the 2d artillery, July 18, 1879 having in the interval served as a member of the board of tactics, and upon other important military commissions, Gen. Ayres died at Fort Hamilton, N.Y. Dec 4, 1888.
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Lt. Colonel
Member of the Year
May 18, 2011
Carlisle, PA
At Gettysburg was he the commander of one of the Regular brigades in the 5th Corps?

He commanded the Second Division, Fifth Corps. It consisted of the Regular brigades under Colonels Sidney Burbank and Hannibal Day as well as the mixed New York and Pennsylvania brigade commanded by Brigadier General Stephen Weed.

After the reorganization of the AotP, he took command of the Regular Brigade which was essentially his old division organized into a brigade.