Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Ayreses in:
 • Arlington National Cemetery
 • Arlington
 • Arlington County
 • Virginia
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Romeyn Beck Ayres
Birth: Dec. 20, 1825
Montgomery County
New York, USA
Death: Dec. 4, 1888
Fort Hamilton
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA

Civil War Union Brigadier General. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1847, placing 22nd out of 38 (his class included future Confederate Generals A.P. Hill, George Steuart and Henry Heth, as well as future Union Generals Ambrose E. Burnside, John Gibbon and Charles Griffin). He served in Mexican garrison postings after graduation, having missed the fighting in the Mexican War. After the start of the Civil War he was promoted to Captain, 5th United States Artillery in May 1861, and was assigned to command its Battery E. He led the unit in the First Bull Run Campaign, and was heavily involved in the Battle of Blackburn's Ford, which was a precursor to the larger First Battle of Bull Run. In that battle his gun were held in reserve, and he did not see action. In October 1861 he was named as Chief of Artillery for Brigadier General William F. Smith's Division, which would become part of the Army of the Potomac's VI Corps. He would hold this position for over a year, and fought in the Spring 1862 Peninsular Campaign, the Seven Day's Battles, and the Antietam Campaign. In November 1862 he was promoted to Brigadier General, US Volunteers and made Chief of Artillery for the entire VI Corps. At the December 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg, he commanded his Corps cannons as they made up part of the formidable Union artillery position on Falmouth Heights. In April 1863 he was transferred to an infantry command, being assigned to lead the V Corp's 2nd Division's 1st Brigade, which was made up of Regular Army units. In the subsequent May 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville, his unit was only lightly engaged. In late June of that year he was advanced to command the Division itself, due to the reshuffling of his superior officers (Corps commander Major General George G. Meade was given command of the Army of the Potomac, and previous division commander Brigadier General George Sykes now command the V Corps). In the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863) he led the Division of Regulars into the maelstrom of the Wheatfield Area in the 2nd Day of the Battle. He committed his troops to bolster the flagging Union troops, which were under attack from Lieutenant General James Longstreet's Corps. He fed the Regulars into the Rose Woods, where they encountered first Union troops retreating from the Peach Orchard, then pursuing Confederates, who threatened to flank and surround the Regulars. He then ordered a retreat, which saved the Division. His men rallied just north of Little Round Top, where they remained for the rest of the Battle. He would remain with the V Corps for the rest of the war, leading his Division in the suppression of the New York City Draft Riots, and in the Mine Run Campaign. In March 1864 the Army of the Potomac was reorganized, and General Ayres was reduced to commanding only the 4th Brigade of the V Corps' 1st Division. After leading the brigade though the initial battles of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign, he again ascended to Divisional command, leading the V Corps 2nd Division through the Petersburg Campaign and to the surrender of Confederate forces at Appomattox in April 1865. During the later part of the war he was Brigadier General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain's immediate superior officer, and he praised General Chamberlain highly in his reports. His war services won him brevets of Major General in both the Regular Army and the Volunteers. Upon his muster out of the Volunteer Army in April 1866 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 28th United States Regular Infantry. He would continued to serve in the Regular Army after the War, performing garrison duty on a number of posts in the South. In 1879 he was promoted to Colonel of the 2nd United States Artillery, and was serving on active duty on Fort Hamilton, New York City, New York when he died in 1888. He was the son-in-law of famed Confederate nurse Juliet Opie Hopkins, who is interred in the Ayers plot in Arlington National Cemetery. Today in the Gettysburg National Military Park a monument for his Division is located at the North End of Houck's Ridge, and an Avenue his named after him. (bio by: Russ Dodge) 
Family links: 
  Emily Louis Gerry Dearborn Ayres (1829 - 1878)
  Juliet Opie Hopkins Ayres (1860 - 1925)*
  Helen R Ayres (____ - 1887)*
  Edith Ayres (____ - 1889)*
  Romeyn D. Ayres (1851 - 1854)*
  Charles Greenlief Ayres (1854 - 1909)*
  Mary Bartlett Ayres Gayle (1856 - 1901)*
  Emily Dearborn Ayres Howell (1859 - 1932)*
  Henry Dearborn Ayres (1864 - 1932)*
  George Hamilton Ayres (1866 - 1930)*
*Calculated relationship
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 1, Site 12
GPS (lat/lon): 38.88033, -77.0757
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Oct 10, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 12844
Romeyn Beck Ayres
Added by: Crystal Lane
Romeyn Beck Ayres
Added by: Anne Cady
Romeyn Beck Ayres
Added by: Russ Dodge
There are 3 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Debra Jean
 Added: Apr. 27, 2017
Thank you, General for your service to our country during our American Civil War. May you rest in peace, sir.
- Daniel Moran
 Added: Dec. 20, 2016

- Heavenly Peace
 Added: Dec. 20, 2016
There are 74 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.1 after 38 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service