|John G. K. Ayers|
|Born||October 30, 1837|
|Died||July 30, 1913(aged 75)|
|Place of birth||Washtenaw County, Michigan|
|Place of death||Michigan|
|Place of burial||Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers, Michigan|
United States Army|
|Years of service||1861 - 1865|
|Unit||Company H, 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry|
American Civil War|
• Siege of Vicksburg
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
On May 22, 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant ordered an assault on the Confederate heights at Vicksburg, Mississippi. The plan called for a storming party of volunteers to build a bridge across a moat and plant scaling ladders against the enemy embankment in advance of the main attack.
The volunteers knew the odds were against survival and the mission was called, in nineteenth century vernacular, a "forlorn hope". Only single men were accepted as volunteers and even then, twice as many men as needed came forward and were turned away. The assault began in the early morning following a naval bombardment.
The Union soldiers came under enemy fire immediately and were pinned down in the ditch they were to cross. Despite repeated attacks by the main Union body, the men of the forlorn hope were unable to retreat until nightfall. Of the 150 men in the storming party, nearly half were killed. Seventy-nine of the survivors were awarded the Medal of Honor.
Medal of Honor citationEdit
“For gallantry in the charge of the volunteer storming party on 22 May 1863.”
John G. K. Ayers at Hall of Valor
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