b. 30/10/1837 Washtenaw County, Michigan. d. 30/07/1913 Michigan.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 22/05/1863 Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Born in Washtenaw County, Michigan, he served as a Private in Company H, 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry, enlisting in May 1861 at Pekin, Tazwell County, Illinois. He would go on to be awarded the CMOH for his bravery at Vicksburg, Mississippi on May 22, 1863. 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, Private Ayers being one of them (85 percent of the men who made the charge did not make it back). After his discharge from the 8th Missouri in July 1864, he enlisted as a recruit Private in Battery D, 1st New Jersey Volunteer Light Artillery, serving from September 23, 1864 until his discharge on June 17, 1865. He was awarded his Medal on March 31, 1895, nearly thirty two years after he played his part at Vicksburg.
For gallantry in the charge of the volunteer storming party on 22 May 1863.
BURIAL LOCATION: RIVERSIDE CEMETERY, THREE RIVERS, MICHIGAN.
Section G, Lot 15, Block 1
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.