David Ayers (Ayres) MOH

b. 29/04/1841 Kalida, Ohio. d. 11/12/1916 Chicago, Illinois.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 22/05/1863 Vicksburg, Mississippi.

David Ayers MOH

Born in Kalida, Ohio, David Ayres was 20 years old when he enlisted in the 57th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on September 2, 1861 at Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Mustered in as a Private in Company A on September 23, 1861, he would go on to be awarded the CMOH for his bravery at Vicksburg, Mississippi while a Sergeant on May 22, 1863 (his name is listed as “David Ayers” in Civil War records, and his Medal was issued under that name). His citation simply reads “Gallantry in the charge of the “volunteer storming party.” On the day in question 150 men were called to volunteer to make a “forlorn hope” diversionary charge on the Confederate position known as the Stockade Redan – a charge that was intended to draw fire away from the real planned attack, and a charge no one was expected to return from (to this end, only unmarried men were accepted as volunteers). After charging an open plain in full view of the Confederates, the withering fire was such that most of the volunteers were cut down, and those that made it through the fire sought shelter in a ravine under the Redan. There they stayed and fought until nightfall, when the survivors made their way to return to the Union lines, Sergeant Ayres being one of them (85 percent of the men who made the charge did not make it back). He had been commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in February 1863, but was yet to be mustered into that rank by the time of the Vicksburg Campaign. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on August 16, 1864. He was discharged from the 57th Ohio on January 4, 1865, but was re-commissioned into the unit’s Company D on April 15, 1865. Promoted to Captain on August 10, 1865, he was not mustered into that rank before he was honorably mustered out of service on August 14, 1865 in Little Rock, Arkansas, having done his duty in the field for nearly four full years. He was awarded his Medal on August 13, 1894, nearly thirty one years after he played his part at Vicksburg.



For gallantry in the charge of the volunteer storming party on 22 May 1863.



Section F, Division 7, Lot 303