Charles Greenlief Ayres – Colonel, United States Army

Charles Greenlief Ayres of New York
Appointed from New York, Second Lieutenant, 25th United States Infantry, 31 October 1874
Transferred to 10th United States Cavalry, 18 September 1875
First Lieutenant,  21 December 1882
Captain, January 1892
Major, 8th United States Cavalry, 29 April 1901

He was born in 1854 and died in 1909.  He is buried with his wife, Mary Elizabeth Fairfax Ayres (1859-1909), his son, Henry Fairfax Ayres, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army (1885-1979) and his Father, Romeyn Beck Ayres, Major General, United States Army, in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.

His grandmother, Juliet Opie Hopkins, is also buried in this site.

Lieutenant Charles G. Ayres of the 10th U.S. Cavalry,  transferred from one western garrison to another, 1884-1890. Travelled through Jefferson Barracks, Missouri; Fort Davis, Texas; Fort Bayard, New Mexico; Fort Apache, Arizona; and Fort Assiniboine, Montana. The Washington Continental Guard recommended Charles Ayres for promotion to Brigadier General,in 1905.

Maybe this will help with his record as far as service dates.  Paula Lucy Delosh

The Son Of A FamousGeneral, He Himself Won A Bravery Record In Spanish War
Forced Out Of The Army
Retired For Disability After Defending His Wife In Her Quarrel With West Point Authorities

NEW YORK, September 26, 1909 – Lieuetnant Colonel Charles Greenlief Ayres, United States Army, retired, died at his home, 36 West Fifty-ninth Street, early yesterday morning. Colonel Ayres, it was said, had not been in good health for a long time, but his death was unexpected. Colonel Ayres was 55 years old and had been living in New York since his retirement from active service by a retiring board in July 1907.

Colonel Ayres was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army by President Grant in 1874 and was assigned to the Twenty-fifth Colored Infantry, and later transferred to the Tenth Cavalry, another colored regiment, with which he served with distinction in the Spanish War, being one of the officers in command of that regiment in the battle of Santiago. He was three times recommended for bravery and was personaly commended by President McKinley and Secretary of War Alger.

General Romeyn Ayres, who opposed General Longstreet at Little Round Top in the battle of Gettysburg, was Colonel Ayres' father. In Longstreet's command in that battle was Colonel John W. Fairfax of Virginia, whose daughter Elizabeth became the wife of Colonel Ayres. Colonel Ayres' great-grandfather was General Henry Dearborn, one of Washington's staff officers.

After the Spanish War Colonel Ayres in due course was ordered to the Philippines, returning to the United States in 1907 to find his wife the central figure in a West Point controversy.  Mrs. Ayres said that on her return from the Philippines she had hastened to West Point to visit her son, who was a cadet at the Academy. She said that on her arrival there she learned that he was being punished by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lee Howze, the commandant, because as she said, her son “had addressed a plebe in front of him on parade.” There was also some difficulty over the fact that several young women visiting West Point had wore the cadet's overcoats on dress parade. Mrs. Ayres became involved in the dispute also, and it resulted in an order by Colonel Howze that in the future the cadets must not lend their overcoats to young women.

Colonel Ayres on his arrival in the country, hurried toWest Pointand took up the cudgels in his wife's behalf.  The affair came to a head when an order was issued by theWar Department that Mrs. Aytres was not to be permitted within the West Point reservation without the permission of the proper authorities. The letter forbiding Mrs. Ayres to visit the reservation was addressed to Colonel Ayres and is said to have borne the signature of the Secretary of War, then William H. Taft. Mrs. Ayres described the letter as “insulting and despicable.”

The month following the issuance of the Taft order Colonel Ayres was ordered before a retirng board in this city of which Brigadier General Davis was the President and Surgeon Major Edie and Surgeon Captain Wadhams the medical members. Colonel Ayres faced the board, which met in the Army Building in Whitehall Street, and made a determined effort to retain his commission in the active service. Major Edie and Captain Wadhams, after exhamining Colonel Ayres, said  he was suffering from a form of Bright's Disease and declared that it would be at the risk of his life if he were permitted to remain in the army on active duty. Colonel Ayres was thereupon put on the retired list.

The funeral services will be held this afternoon at 4 o'clock and later the body will be taken on a private car to Washington where the interment will take place in Arlington National Cemetery.  The Rev. Anson P. Atterbury will officiate at the services. There will be an escort of the Loyal Legionand the Sons of the Revolution.

The honorary military pallbearers as selected by the family will include Colonel Quincy O. Gilman; Major General Leonard Wood, General T. C. Lebo, General Winfield Scott Edgerly and Major General Charles H. Humphrey.  The civilian pallbearers will include August Heckscher, Edwaqrd H. Beecher, Charles D. Stickney, H. H. Landon, Lewis Nixon and David H. King.

Colonel Ayres leaves a widow and two children, Miss Emily Ayresand Henry Fairfax Ayres.


WASHINGTON, September 28, 1909 – With the full military honors due his rank, the body of Colonel Charles Greenlief Ayres, U.S.A., retired, was buried late this afternoon in Arlington National Cemetery. The funeral party bringing the body from New York was met at the Union Station by a squadron of Cavalry from Fort Myer. The body was placed on a caisson and with the military band from the Fort at the head of the procession, was taken through to the Cemetery. The brief religious ceremony at the Cemetery was conducted by Chaplain W. W. Brander.

United States Army
DATE OF DEATH: 09/26/1909

DATE OF DEATH: 04/03/1950

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