Brayton, Charles Ray
- Patrick T. Conley
Brayton, Charles Ray (16 August 1840–23 September 1910), soldier and politician, was born in the village of Apponaug in the town of Warwick, Rhode Island, the son of William Daniel Brayton, a Republican congressman (1857–1861), and Anna Ward Clarke. He traced his Rhode Island roots back to 1643 and the founding of Warwick. He first attended nearby East Greenwich Academy, then studied at the Fruit Hill Classical Academy in North Providence, and finally entered Brown University in 1859. He was scheduled to graduate in the class of 1863 but left college in 1861 to organize a Warwick company for the Third Rhode Island Volunteers, a heavy artillery unit. As an artillery officer Brayton served in such sieges and battles as those at Fort Pulaski, Fort Sumter, Fort Wagner, Drury’s Bluff, Laurel Hill, Fort Burnham, and Petersburg. In March 1864 he was appointed chief of artillery for the Department of the South, a post he held until his discharge in 1865, when he was allowed to retire with the rank of brigadier general of volunteers. In March 1865 he married Antoinette Percival Belden, daughter of Brayton’s headmaster at Fruit Hill Classical Academy; the couple had one child....