Edward Otho Cresap Ord

Edward Otho Cresap Ord was born in Cumberland, Maryland, October 18, 1818, but when he was a year old, his parents moved to Washington where he received his early education, much of it from his father. He demonstrated great proficiency in mathematics and at the early age of sixteen received an appointment to West Point from which he was graduated in 1839.

His first field service was against the perennially troublesome Florida Seminoles; then he was on duty in California during the Mexican War and in the meantime was advanced in rank from second lieutenant to captain. In the interval before the Civil War, Ord was on Indian duty in the Pacific Northwest; in 1859, however, chancing to be stationed at Fort Monroe, he participated in the expedition which suppressed John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. In 1861 he was again in California, where he was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers on September 14, 1861, and ordered East. During the first winter of the war he commanded a brigade on the right of the Washington defenses and saw his first action at Dranesville against Jeb Stuart. On May 3, 1862, Ord was appointed major general and ordered to the Western theater, where he won the regular brevet of colonel for "gallant and meritorious services" at Iuka—even though he was not present at the battle, not even within the sound of it. A few days later, however, he performed good service by roughing up Van Dorn's Confederates who were falling back after their abortive assault on Corinth. He was severely wounded in this encounter and did not return to field duty until June, 1863, when he took part in the Vicksburg campaign as commander of the XIII Corps. Subsequently, he had commands in Louisiana and in the Shenandoah, was assigned the VIII Corps, and finally the XVIII Corps in the operations before Richmond. During the successful attack on Fort Harrison in September, 1864, Ord was again seriously wounded and did not resume command until January, 1865, when he took charge of the Army of the James and the Department of North Carolina, both formerly under Benjamin F. Butler. After the surrender at Appomattox, General Ord commanded various military departments, was made a brigadier general in the Regular Army as of July 26, 1866, and was retired as a major general in 1881. While on a ship bound from New York to Vera Cruz, he was stricken with yellow fever and died in Havana on July 22, 1883. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.