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James F. Ayers
Born 1847
Died January 18, 1895 (aged 47–48)
Place of birth Collinstown, Virginia, United States
Place of death Fort Riley, Kansas
Place of burial Fort Riley Post Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service c. 1875–1895
Rank Private
Unit 6th U.S. Cavalry
Battles/wars Indian Wars
Red River War
Awards Medal of Honor

James F. Ayers (1847 – January 18, 1895) was an American soldier in the U.S. Army who served with the 6th U.S. Cavalry during the Indian Wars. He was a participant in the Red River War and one of several men received the Medal of Honor for bravery fighting Indians at Sappa Creek, Kansas on April 23, 1875.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]


James F. Ayers was born in Collinstown, Virginia.[8][9] He later moved to Richmond where he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 6th U.S. Cavalry and sent to the frontier where he took part in campaigns against the Plains Indians, particularly the Red River War, during the 1870s. He was cited for bravery while battle Indians at Sappa Creek, Kansas on April 23, 1875. He was one of several regimental members to receive the Medal of Honor, Ayers receiving his award for "rapid pursuit, gallantry, energy, and enterprise in an engagement with Indians" on November 16, 1876.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Ayers remained in the military until his death at Fort Riley, Kansas, on January 18, 1895, and interred at the post cemetery.

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Private, Company H, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Sappa Creek, Kans., 23 April 1875. Entered service at: ------. Birth: Collinstown, Va. Date of issue: 16 November 1876.


Rapid pursuit, gallantry, energy, and enterprise in an engagement with Indians.[10]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Beyer, Walter F. and Oscar Frederick Keydel, ed. Deeds of Valor: From Records in the Archives of the United States Government; how American Heroes Won the Medal of Honor; History of Our Recent Wars and Explorations, from Personal Reminiscences and Records of Officers and Enlisted Men who Were Rewarded by Congress for Most Conspicuous Acts of Bravery on the Battle-field, on the High Seas and in Arctic Explorations. Vol. 2. Detroit: Perrien-Keydel Company, 1906. (pg. 199)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. Medal of Honor recipients, 1863-1978, 96th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1979. (pg. 1012)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hannings, Bud. A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes. Glenside, Pennsylvania: Seniram Publishing, 1988. (pg. 372) ISBN 0-922564-00-0
  4. 4.0 4.1 O'Neal, Bill. Fighting Men of the Indian Wars: A Biographical Encyclopedia of the Mountain Men, Soldiers, Cowboys, and Pioneers Who Took Up Arms During America's Westward Expansion. Stillwater, Oklahoma: Barbed Wire Press, 1991. (pg. 29) ISBN 0-935269-07-X
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wilson, D. Ray. Terror on the Plains: A Clash of Cultures. Dundee, Illinois: Crossroads Communications, 1999. (pg. 175) ISBN 0-916445-47-X
  6. 6.0 6.1 Yenne, Bill. Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West. Yardley, Pennsylvania: Westholme Publishing, 2006. (pg. 169) ISBN 1-59416-016-3
  7. 7.0 7.1 Cruse, J. Brett. Battles of the Red River War: Archeological Perspectives on the Indian campaign of 1874. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008. (pg. 160) ISBN 1-60344-027-5
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Sterner, C. Douglas (1999). "MOH Citation for James Ayers". MOH Recipients: Indian Campaigns. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "James F. Ayers". Military Times. Retrieved August 30, 2011. 
  10. "Medal of Honor recipients". Indian War Campaigns. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 29, 2009. 

Further reading

  • "These Virginians Served Above, Beyond Call of Duty". July 14, 1991. 

External links

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