Brevet Brig. General Rufus R. Dawes (USA)

Is your surname Dawes?

Research the Dawes family

Brevet Brig. General Rufus R. Dawes (USA)'s Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Rufus Robinson Dawes

Birthplace: Malta, Ohio
Death: Died in Marietta, Ohio
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Dawes and Sarah Dawes
Husband of Mary Beman Dawes
Father of Charles G. Dawes, 30th V. P. of the USA, Nobel peace Prize 1925; Rufus C. Dawes; Beman Gates Dawes, U.S. Congress; Henry M. Dawes; Mary Beach and 1 other
Brother of Sarah Shedd; Lucy Dawes; Henry Dawes and Lucretia McClean

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Brevet Brig. General Rufus R. Dawes (USA)

Rufus Robinson Dawes (July 4, 1838 – August 2, 1899) was a military officer in the United States Army during the American Civil War. He was noted for his service in the famed Iron Brigade, particularly during the Battle of Gettysburg. He was a post-war businessman, Congressman, and author, and the father of four nationally known sons, one of whom served as Vice President of the United States.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Dawes organized a volunteer unit from Mauston in June and was soon elected captain. Company K was mustered into the 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, which served for the first months of the war on guard duty in Washington, D.C.. In June 1862, Dawes was promoted to major. He served with his regiment at the Battle of Groveton and at Antietam and Fredericksburg In March 1863, Dawes received a promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel and served in the Chancellorsville Campaign.

During the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, Dawes led a counterattack on Joseph R. Davis's Confederate brigade of Mississippians, many of which were sheltered in an unfinished railroad cut west of town. He forced the surrender of over 200 enemy soldiers. He later served that year in the Mine Run Campaign. During a furlough, Dawes returned to Ohio and married Mary Beman Gates (1842–1921), a New Englander, on January 18, 1864. Returning to the Army of the Potomac, he served at the Battle of the Wilderness and the Siege of Petersburg. In July 1864, Dawes was offered the full rank of colonel, but declined the promotion. He mustered out of the army on August 10, 1864, following the fights at Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor. On March 13, 1865, he was awarded the rank of brevet Brigadier General.

Dawes returned home to Marietta and entered the lumber business. In August of that year, his son Charles Gates Dawes was born, a future Vice President. In July 1867, Rufus C. Dawes was born at the family home. He would become a well respected businessman and lawyer, being awarded Chicago's Most Distinguished Citizen Award" in 1934. A third son, Beman Gates Dawes, would later serve as a Congressman from Ohio, and Henry May Dawes would be a powerful banker who would serve as Comptroller of the Currency for the United States under Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Rufus and Mary Dawes also had two daughters. In 1869, the Dawes built an impressive mansion in the Italianate style.

Dawes also served on the Board of Trustees of Marietta College from 1871 until his death, 28 years later. He was also a Trustee for Ohio’s Institute for the Deaf and Dumb. Dawes was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1881 as a representative from the 15th Congressional District. A Republican, he served for one term before losing his bid for re-election because he voted against the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (Sortland 1958: 4). In 1890, he published a well-received account of his Civil War career, Service with the 6th Wisconsin Volunteers. This memoir was republished in Madison, Wisconsin by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Civil War Centennial Commission, in 1962. His reputation as an orator and his influential voice for the establishment of diplomatic relations with Persia prompted President William McKinley to offer Dawes the position of Minister to Persia in 1897, a post he declined due to failing health.

Dawes died two years later in Marietta, Ohio and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Dawes was elected to Marietta College's Hall of Honor in 2003.

view all

Brevet Brig. General Rufus R. Dawes (USA)'s Timeline

July 4, 1838
Malta, Ohio
January 18, 1864
Age 25
Marietta, OH, USA
July 27, 1865
Age 27
Marietta, OH, USA
July 30, 1867
Age 29
Marietta, Ohio, United States
January 14, 1870
Age 31
Marietta, Ohio, United States
March 3, 1872
Age 33
April 22, 1877
Age 38
Marietta, Ohio, United States
October 5, 1880
Age 42
August 2, 1899
Age 61
Marietta, Ohio