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R. Ayres

R. Ayres

Federal (USA)


Robert Ayres

(1833 - 1905)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Branch of Service: Engineers

Unit: Regular Engineer Battalion

Before Antietam

A 22 year old clerk, he was unsuccessful in getting an appointment to West Point, and he enlisted in Company A, Miners and Sappers (later Engineer Battalion), USA in Philadelphia on 20 December 1855. He was promoted to Corporal and (then 27) reenlisted at West Point, NY on 27 November 1860. He was on the Peninsula Campaign and was First Sergeant, Company D by September 1862.

On the Campaign

He was with Regular Engineer Battalion on the Maryland Campaign.

The rest of the War

He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, 19th United States Infantry on November 1862 and was Adjutant of the First Battalion in May 1863. He was wounded at Rossville, GA in September and promoted to First Lieutenant in November. He was captured at Ringgold, GA on 22 February 1864 and was a prisoner in Atlanta, briefly at ANdersonville, then at Camp Oglethorpe in Macon, GA. He escaped by tunneling "under the walls" (it was a stockade fence) and rejoined US forces at Fort Pickens, FL in June 1864. He was regimental Adjutant to July 1866.

He was honored by brevet to Captain, USA for his service at Chickamauga, GA and Mission Ridge, TN in 1863.

After the War

He was promoted to Captain in February 1866 and mustered out on 1 January 1871. He was probably in Texas in 1870, and by 1880 he was a detective at Lamar, TX. By 1900 he was back in Pennsylvania, retired, at Troy.

References & notes

Service information from the Registers,1 Heitman,2 and Henry3. Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1860, 1880, and 1900. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his picture, from a photograph contributed by Rich Davis. His stone has his birth in 1836.

He married Harriet Catherine Mayers (later Lark, 1852-1931) in February 1869 at Ft. Smith, AR; they had a son and two daughters in Texas but were divorced by 1880. He married again, the widow Emma Julia Pierce Redington (1839-1915) in January 1884 in Troy, PA.


11/22/1833; Wilkes-Barre, PA


02/22/1905; Bradford County, PA; burial in Oak Hill Cemetery, Troy, PA


1   US Army, Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914, Washington, DC: National Archives, 1956, Vol. 051, pg. 6; Vol. 141, pg. 6  [AotW citation 28919]

2   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 177  [AotW citation 28920]

3   Henry, Guy Vernor, Military Record of Civilian Appointments in the United States Army, 2 Volumes, New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1873, Vol. 1, pp. 240-241  [AotW citation 28921]