William Thomas Ward

William Thomas Ward was born in Amelia County, Virginia, on August 9, 1808. But his parents moved to Kentucky when he was quite young, and he was educated at St. Mary's College, near Lebanon. He then studied law and commenced practice in Greensburg, Kentucky. In 1847 he became major of the 4th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry and was stationed in Mexico until he was mustered out in 1848. He then served successively in the Kentucky legislature and as a representative in Congress from 1851 to 1853. With the official adherence of Kentucky to the Federal cause, Ward was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers on September 18, 1861. He compiled a very creditable record from that time until the surrender of Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina in 1865, when he was in command of the 3rd Division of the XX Corps and was brevetted a major general of volunteers to rank from February 24, 1865. Ward's first service was in Kentucky, under the command of General Jeremiah Boyle, and consequently he was a victim of John Hunt Morgan's raid in 1862. In November, 1862, he was attached to the Army of the Ohio and was made post commander at Gallatin, Tennessee. General Ward occupied a succession of garrison commands, protecting various towns and railroad junctions in Tennessee, and early in 1864 was assigned to command of the 1st Division of Howard's XI Corps, Army of the Cumberland. Upon the consolidation of the XI and XII Corps into the XX Corps immediately prior to the opening of the Atlanta campaign, Ward assumed command of a brigade of the 3rd Division; and when General Daniel Butterfield, the division's commander, went on sick leave, Ward took over and led the division from Atlanta to Savannah and in the campaign of the Carolinas. He was twice wounded at Re-saca, Georgia, but would not leave the field and continued in service until he was mustered out on August 24, 1865. After the war General Ward practiced law in Louisville, Kentucky, until his death on October 12, 1878. He was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.

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