Edward Otho Cresap Ord - Facts

October 18, 1818 - July 22, 1883

Key facts about Edward O.C. Ord, a career United States Army officer who played major leadership roles in both theaters of the American Civil War and as commander of the Department of the Ohio at the conclusion of hostilities.

Portrait of Edward Ord

Edward Ord was seriously injured on September 29, 1864, during the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm and New Market Heights. [Wikimedia Commons]

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Full Name:

  • Edward Otho Cresap Ord

Birth Date:

  • October 18, 1818

Birth Location:

  • Cumberland, Maryland

Parents:

  • James and Rebecca Ruth (Cresap) Ord

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1839)

Occupation:

  • Military officer
  • Engineer

Career Summary:

  • Major General (USA)
  • Major General (USVA)

Spouse:

  • Mary Mercer Thompson (1854)

Place of Death:

  • Havana, Cuba

Date of Death:

  • July 22, 1883

Place of Burial:

  • Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

Significance:

  • Edward Ord was the second of twelve children born to James and Rebecca Ruth (Cresap) Ord.
  • Edward Ord’s father was a United States naval officer and his mother was the daughter of Daniel Cresap, an American officer during the Revolutionary War.
  • An excellent student of mathematics, Ord received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at the age of sixteen in 1835.
  • Edward Ord graduated from the Academy on July 1, 1839, placing seventeenth in his class of thirty-one cadets.
  • Following his graduation, Edward Ord was commissioned as a second lieutenant with the 3rd U.S. Artillery and sent to Florida, where he took part in the Second Seminole War (1835–1832).
  • On July 1, 1841, Edward Ord was promoted to first lieutenant.
  • Edward Ord served on garrison duty at Monterey, California during the Mexican-American War (April 25, 1846–February 2, 1848).
  • While serving in California, Edward Ord took on work as a surveyor to supplement his military pay. In 1849, he created one of the first maps of Los Angeles.
  • Edward Ord was promoted to captain on September 7, 1850.
  • On October 14, 1854, Edward Ord married Mary Mercer Thompson, the daughter of a California judge, in San Francisco. Their union, which lasted for twenty-nine years, produced eight children.
  • When John Brown raided the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry in October of that year, U.S. Secretary of War John B. Floyd, dispatched Edward Ord on the expedition to suppress the rebellion.
  • When the Civil War erupted Edward Ord was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on September 14, 1861, assigned to the Army of the Potomac as a brigade commander defending Washington, DC.
  • On November 21, 1861, Edward Ord was promoted to major in the regular army and assigned to the 4th U.S. Artillery.
  • On December 20, 1861, troops under Edward Ord’s command defeated several Confederate regiments led by Brigadier General J. E. B. Stuart at the Battle of Dranesville
  • On May 2, 1862, Edward Ord was transferred to the Western Theater and promoted to the rank of major general of volunteers with Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee.
  • Despite the fact that Edward Ord’s troops did not engage, he was later brevetted to colonel in the regular army for “Gallant and Meritorious Conduct” in the Battle of Iuka.
  • Edward Ord was seriously injured during the Battle of Hatchie’s Bridge on October 5, 1862.
  • Edward Ord commanded the 13th Army Corps during the later phases of the Siege of Vicksburg.
  • Edward Ord took part in the capture of Jackson, Mississippi on July 16, 1863.
  • Edward Ord was given command of the 18th Army Corps on July 21, 1864, during General Ulysses S. Grant’s Petersburg Campaign.
  • Edward Ord was seriously injured on September 29, 1864, during the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm and New Market Heights.
  • On December 3, 1864, the U.S. War Department issued General Orders No. 297 placing Edward Ord in command of the newly created 24th Army Corps.
  • On January 7, 1865, the Adjutant-General’s Office issued General Order Number 1, placing Edward Ord in command of the Department of North Carolina and Virginia and the Army of the James.
  • Edward Ord was brevetted to the rank of brigadier general in the regular army for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of the Hatchie’s Bridge and to major general in the regular army for gallant and meritorious services at the assault of Fort Harrison. Both promotions were effective to March 13, 1865.
  • On June 27, 1865, the U.S. War Department issued General Orders No. 118, which placed Edward Ord in command of the Department of the Ohio, headquartered in Detroit. Ord assumed his new command on July 5, 1865 and served until August 6, 1866.
  • Edward Ord was promoted to lieutenant colonel in the regular army on December 11, 1865.
  • Edward Ord was promoted to brigadier general in the regular army on July 26, 1866.
  • On August 29, 1866, Edward Ord was assigned to command the Department of Arkansas.
  • On September 1, 1866, Edward Ord mustered out of the volunteer army
  • Between 1866 and 1880 Edward Ord held various commands in the West, including the Fourth Military District (March 26, 1867 to January 9, 1868), the Department of California (April 24, 1868 to December 4, 1871), the of Department of the Platte, (December 11, 1871, to April 6, 1875), and of the Department of Texas (April 11, 1875 to December 6, 1880).
  • Edward Ord retired from the U.S. Army on December 6, 1880, at the age of sixty-two.
  • In 1881, Congress enacted special legislation promoting Edward Ord to the rank of major general.
  • Following his retirement, Edward Ord accepted a position as a civil engineer with the Mexican Southern Railroad.
  • Edward Ord died of yellow fever at Havana, Cuba, on July 22, 1883, at the age of sixty-five.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Edward Otho Cresap Ord - Facts
  • Coverage October 18, 1818 - July 22, 1883
  • Author
  • Keywords Edward Otho Cresap Ord
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date November 29, 2022
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021

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