Edward Ord

Edward Ord

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Edward Ord was born in 1818. He joined the United States Army and saw action in the Seminole War and the Indian Wars. Ord also served under Robert E. Lee during the suppression of John Brown at Harper's Ferry.

On the outbreak of the American Civil War Ord was involved in the defence of Washington before joining the Army of Tennessee. Promoted to the rank of major general he commanded the 2nd Division at Corinth. Seriously wounded at Hatchie he returned to duty during the Vicksburg campaign.

In March, 1867, Congress passed the first Reconstruction Act. The South was now divided into five military districts, each under a major general. President Andrew Johnson appointed Ord as military governor of Arkansas and Mississippi.

Edward Ord retired in 1880 and died in 1883.

Edward Ord - History

Many a soldier is familiar with Fort Ord. However, but very few have any knowledge of the man for whom it is named. Only a small number of historians familiar with Los Angeles's early history know that the name Ord is almost synonymous with that city. But few students of early California history are cognizant of the Ord Surveys of Sacramento and of the Ord Survey of the pueblo de Los Angeles in 1849. Remarkably, even fewer have any knowledge of the man himself other than the fact that he was an army officer.

Edward Otho Cresap Ord was born on October 18, 1818, in Cumberland, Maryland. He was the third son of James and Rebecca Ruth (Cresap) Ord. His father was an officer in the United States Navy for a short time, and afterwards a lieutenant in the army during the War of 1812 (1), and his mother was the daughter of Colonel Daniel Cresap (2), an officer in the American Revolution. His grandfather had commanded one of the regiments which Washington sent to Pennsylvania to quell the Whiskey Rebellion. In 1819, the Ord family moved to Washington, D.C., when Edward was just a year old, where he received his early schooling. He showed in his boyhood great mathematical ability, which attracted attention and gained for him an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in September 1835 at the age of sixteen.

On July 1, 1839, Edward graduated seventeenth in a class of thirty-one, and was commissioned as a 2d lieutenant, Third Artillery Regiment. He was one of two lieutenants that were selected by Colonel William S. Harney to assist in the Florida Everglades against the Seminole Indians, where for gallant service he was promoted to first lieutenant. During the four following years he served on garrison duty on the eastern seaboard.

In 1847, during the Mexican War, Lieutenant E. O. C. Ord, with his classmate, Lieutenant Henry W. Halleck, and Lieutenant William Tecumseh Sherman, was sent to California by way of Cape Horn, arriving at Monterey aboard the LEXINGTON on January 28, 1847, two days before Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco. Shortly after his arrival, he was dispatched with two men to capture three murderers. He caught up with them at Santa Barbara, shot one who attempted to escape, brought the other two to jury trial before an alcade court, securing their conviction, and promptly executed them.

As a young Lieutenant Ord was placed in charge of the Monterey garrison (1847-49) and by his individual efforts did much toward preserving law and order in Monterey during the Mexican war.

In 1849, Lieutenant Ord had just finished a survey of Sacramento when Governor Bennett Riley sent a request to the Ayuntamiento (City Council) at Los Angeles for a map of the city and information as to titles and the methods of granting city lots. Governor Riley was informed by the Alcalde that there was no city map in existence and never had been one, and furthermore, there was no surveyor in the town to make one. In response, Governor Riley sent Ord to Los Angeles.

Upon the arrival of Lieutenant Ord in Los Angeles, and following a short conference with the Council, Ord received three thousand dollars to survey the city. Ord was to call his map the " Plan de la ciudad de Los Angeles. "

On September 7, 1850, Ord was promoted to the rank of captain. That year he was on Indian duty in the Pacific Northwest and was engaged in Coast Survey (December 30, 1852 to March 29, 1855).

Captain E. O. C. Ord was married to Mary Mercer Thompson at San Francisco on October 14, 1854. The couple had two sons and a daughter.

In April 1855, Ord was placed in command of the garrison at Benicia, California (1856-58). During 1856, and again in 1858, he campaigned against the Indians in Oregon, campaigning successfully against the Rogue River Indians and later against the Spokane Indians in the Washington Territory. In 1858 he was placed on frontier duty and placed in charge of Fort Miller in the San Joaguin Valley, near the present city of Fresno (3).

In 1859, Ord was attending the Artillery School at Fort Monroe, Virginia, when he participated in the suppression of the John Brown insurrection at Harpers Ferry. From there, he was placed on frontier duty at Fort Vancouver, Washington, returning back to Benicia, California, in 1861, and later that year was stationed at the Presidio, in San Francisco, at the time of the firing on Fort Sumter.

On September 14, 1861, Ord was made brigadier-general of volunteers and given a command in the Army of the Potomac assigned to defend the capital. Ord was ordered East, and there, led the attack against Confederate forces under Gen. J. E. B. Stuart at Dranesville, Virginia, on December 20, 1861, and was promoted to major-general of volunteers on May 2, 1862, and transferred to the Western Theater. On September 19, 1862, he was given a colonel's brevet in the regular army "for gallant and meritorious service" on the field and was severely wounded a few days later at Hatchie, Mississippi, and was incapacitated until June 1863, when he returned to the army in time to take part in the siege of Vicksburg as commander of the Thirteenth Corps. After the fall of Vicksburg on July 4, Ord held commands in Louisiana and in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. During the siege of Richmond he commanded first the Eighth Corps and later the Eighteenth Corps. He was again seriously wounded at the storming of Fort Harrison in September 1864 and did not return to his command until January 1865.

On March 13, 1865, he was awarded the brevet rank of brigadier-general for his role in the battle of Hatchie, Mississippi, and a major general's brevet for his part in the assault on Fort Harrison, Virginia. He was then given command of the Army of the James with responsibility for the Department of North Carolina. He was engaged in the various operations about Petersburg, Virginia, and in the pursuit of General Robert E. Lee until the surrender at Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865. He then was given the Department of the Ohio, which he retained until he was mustered out of the volunteer service in September, 1866, after receiving, on 13 March, 1865, the brevets of brigadier-general and major-general in the United States army, and the commissions of lieutenant colonel, on 11 December, 1865, and of brigadier-general in the regular army, 26 July, 1866.

After the surrender of the Confederate armies, he first commanded the Fourth Military District. Subsequently he had command of the Department of Arkansas, the 4th military district, the Department of California, and the Department of the Platte, before receiving assignment to command the Military Department of Texas on April 11, 1875. He supervised the construction of Fort Sam Houston. His command numbered from 3,000 to 3,900 troops, stationed at San Antonio and forts Brown, Concho, Clark, Davis, Duncan, McKavett, and Ringgold. From his headquarters at San Antonio Brigadier General Ord oversaw the scouting, construction of telegraph lines, and post maintenance and repair, as well as suppression of cattle rustling and hostile Indians. Troops under Ord's command were responsible for the discovery of grazing land in the state's trans-Pecos region as well as deposits of silver, iron, lead, and copper.

On 6 December, 1880, being over 62 years of age, he retired with his brevet rank of major-general (by Act of Congress, approved January 28, 1881), and on this occasion General Sherman wrote of him:

"He has had all of the hard knocks of service, and never on soft or fancy duty. He has always been called on when hard duty was expected, and never flinched."

Subsequently he became identified with various civilian enterprises. It was during this period that General Ord accepted the appointment as engineer on the construction of a Mexican railroad, but contracted yellow fever while on his way from Vera Cruz to New York. He was taken ashore at Havana, Cuba, where he died on July 22, 1883.

Upon the death of General Ord, the General-in-Chief, U.S. Army, issued an obituary order, quoted in part here:

"With profound sorrow the General of the Army announces the death at Havana, Cuba, at seven o'clock on the evening of the 22d instant, of MAJOR-GENERAL EDWARD O. C. ORD, retired, and lately Brigadier-General and Brevet Major-General on the active list. Distinguished among his country's defenders, General Ord was a soldier of national repute. Through his long military service, reaching towards half a century, his career has been marked by faithful, devoted, and intelligent dischard of duty, by personal gallantry, by honest administration, and by a firmness which was not weakened by his great kindness of heart. As his intimate associate since boyhood, the General [W. T. Sherman] here bears testimony of him, that a more unselfish, manly, and patriotic person never lived."

He was regarded as a model officer –a gentleman by all who served under him as well. The Rev. S. S. Seward, who for four years served as his aide-de-camp, said of him:

"I can truly say that I never saw him, under any circumstances, lose his self-control or forfeit for an instant his character as a courteous gentleman. Even his rebukes never gave offence, while his consideration for others never failed him even in the face of the enemy. He was brave as a lion and gentle as a woman. In the camp and on the march he was exceedingly careful of his soldiers, providing for their comfort, their clothing, their rations, their medical attendance, with almost paternal care, and he showed equal solicitude for the sick and wounded. My respect and affection for him grew as my appreciation of his genuine manly worth increased with years and experience." (New York Tribune, July 26, 1883).

His remains were returned to the United States and here he was interned at the National Cemetery at Arlington with full military honors. But although Edward Otho Cresap Ord's military career was a brilliant one, no act of his will place his name in the minds of Californians more forcibly than by the military fort that bears his name –Fort Ord.

Fort Ord was named in 1940 in honor of Major General Edward Otho Cresap Ord. A portion of Fort Ord is now the home of The California State University, Monterey Bay.

Note: Co-author Charles R. Cresap is a descendant of Major General Edward O. C. Ord and represents him within the Aztec Club of 1847.

General Ord's memorial erected in 1916 at the Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg Mississippi

(1) James Ord of Maryland. Appointed from Maryland, First Lieutenant, 36th United States Infantry, 30 April 1813 Resigned 14 February 1815.

(2) Daniel Cresap, Lieutenant of Maryland Volunteers.

(3) Fort Miller, which took its name from Major Albert S. Miller, commander of the Benecia Arsenal, was established in 1852 as a temporary headquarters for the Commissioners during the latter part of the Mariposa Indian War. The village of Rootville grew into the town of Millerton and became the first seat of Fresno County in 1856.

Edward O. C. Ord

Edward Otho Cresap Ord began his military career after graduating from the United States Military Academy in 1839. He was commissioned in the 3rd US Artillery, and sent to Florida to participate in the Seminole Wars. After his service in Florida, he was sent, along with William T. Sherman and Henry Halleck, to serve in California. They participated in the construction of forts, as well as surveying of the area that would become Los Angeles.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Ord was sent back east and made a brigade commander of the Pennsylvania Reserves. On May 3, 1862, Ord was promoted to major general, and was commanded to lead the 2nd Division of the Army of the Tennessee. He missed serving during the Battle of Corinth, but took part in the end of the Siege of Vicksburg. He briefly commanded the XIII Corps with the Department of the Gulf after which he went to the eastern theater in 1864 to command the XVIII Corps. During the Battle of the Crater, while Ord’s forces were available, they did not actively participate. In late 1864, Ord and his Corps participated in an attack on Fort Harrison, where Ord was seriously wounded. He returned to service in January of 1865, and took command of the Army of the James during the Appomattox Campaign. His men served a crucial role in the Union breakthrough at Petersburg. At the end of the campaign, Ord ordered a forced march which relieved General Philip Sheridan and his men, and helped force Robert E. Lee to surrender.

Ord Family Papers 2

The Ord Family Papers: Part 2 provide a wealth of documentary material on members of the distinguished Ord family, especially Edward Otho Cresap Ord (1818-1883) and Edward Otho Cresap Ord II (1858-1923). This collection fills in details about the career of American Civil War notable Edward Otho Cresap Ord and includes his letters from California in 1848 touching on the Mexican War and the gold rush his correspondence to his brother Doctor James Lycurgus Ord between 1848 and 1873 some photographs of him, including one by Mathew Brady and primary and secondary source research materials about him. The collection contains even more material on lifetime soldier and Spanish-American War veteran Edward Otho Cresap Ord II (1858-1923), including biographical material on him some of his diaries, including his Spanish-American War diary files regarding his land in Arizona letters back and forth with Mexican leader Geronimo Trevino (1836-1914), mostly about the health of Trevino's son Geronimo Trevino y Ord but also mentioning political aspects of the Mexican Revolution documents from his military career across the western United States information on his various inventions and patents and a large amount of his correspondence dating from the 1870s to his death in 1923. Moreover, documents by and about many other Ord family members such as Georgetown College graduate James Ord, American Civil War veteran John S. Mason Jr. and World War I and World War II veteran James Garesche Ord are found in this group of family papers. Nearly 400 family photographs are retained. Of special note are dozens of World War I photographs found among the papers of James Garesche Ord. These substantial family archives document the activities of the Ords, many of whom made significant contributions to American history. The collection comprises 22 linear feet, and it is contained in 25 archival boxes.

The Georgetown University Library Special Collections and Archives Division owns several other collections relating to the Ord Family Papers: Part 2. Of importance are the Ord Family Papers: Part 1, which contain correspondence of James Ord, Edward Otho Cresap Ord, and Edward Otho Cresap Ord II, among others. In addition, the University Archives maintains records concerning several Ord family members who attended Georgetown College.


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Biographical note

Noted military officer Edward Otho Cresap Ord (1818-1883) was born in Cumberland, Maryland, on October 18, 1818, the son of James Ord and Rebecca Ruth (Cresap) Ord. After receiving a West Point appointment from the District of Columbia, Edward Ord graduated from the military academy in 1839. Prior to the American Civil War, he served in the Seminole War, the Mexican War in California, and the American Indian wars. On October 14, 1854, he married Mary Mercer Thompson. Ord saw extensive action in the Civil War, most significantly as commander in one of the North's earliest victories at Dranesville, Virginia as a prominent participant in the siege of Vicksburg and as a major force in the final drive against Richmond and Petersburg that culminated in Appomattox. After the war, Ord commanded the departments of Arkansas, California, Texas, and the Platte. In 1881, he retired from the army. Edward Otho Cresap Ord I died in Cuba in 1883. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. [Sources: Cresap, Bernarr. "Appomattox Commander: The Story of General E.O.C. Ord." San Diego: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1981. Sifakis, Stewart. "Who Was Who in the Civil War." New York: Facts on File, 1988, p. 478. "Who Was Who in America: Historical Volume, 1607-1896." Chicago: Marquis, 1963, p. 387.] - Note: The Georgetown University Library Special Collections Division owns a copy of Bernarr Cresap's book "Appomattox Commander: The Story of General E.O.C. Ord." It is part of the Special Collections' Rare Book Collection.

Edward Otho Cresap Ord II (1858-1923), the son of Edward Otho Cresap Ord and Mary Mercer (Thompson) Ord, was born on November 9, 1858, at Benicia Barracks, California. After attending public schools in San Francisco and Omaha, he was appointed to the U.S. naval academy in 1876, only to withdraw a year later. In 1879, however, Ord became a second lieutenant in the 22d infantry. He soon saw action in the American Indian campaign in Texas and the campaign against Sitting Bull in 1891-1892. His 22d infantry was among the first American troops to enter Cuba in the Spanish-American War in 1898, and his unit experienced heavy fighting. Following duty suppressing a rebellion in the Philippines, Ord retired from the army on account of disabilities sustained in Cuba. Ord continued his military pursuits, however, as he worked as a military aid to the Arizona governor and served on the Mexican border. In 1918, he retired to California. Edward Otho Cresap Ord II died on April 4, 1923, at Eagle Rock, California. [Sources: "National Cyclopedia of American Biography." Vol. 25. New York: James T. White & Co., 1936, p. 445.]

Born in 1886 in Fort Lewis, Colorado, James Garesche Ord graduated from West Point in 1909, served as aide to the commander of the First Corps in France during World War I, administered Fort Washington in Maryland from 1934 to 1937, and led the 57th Regiment in the Philippines prior to World War II. During the Second World War, he commanded the First Infantry Division, the 28th Infantry Division at Camp Livingston, Louisiana, and the effort to train and equip the Brazilian Expeditionary Forces in Italy. James Garesche Ord died in April 1960. Sources: Obituary: "Washington Star." 17 April 1960.

Biographical information on James Ord and James Placidus Ord is included in the Ord Family Papers: Part 1. The Georgetown University Archives preserves the records of Ord family members who attended Georgetown University. A good source for brief biographical information about Mexican military figure Geronimo Trevino, who married Edward Otho Cresap Ord's daughter Roberta Augusta Ord in 1880, is the following: "Encyclopedia de Mexico." Tomo 13. Ciudad de Mexico: Enciclopedia de Mexico: Secretaria de Education Publica, 1987-1988, p. 7832-7833.

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00293 Author/Creator: Sherman, William Tecumseh (1820-1891) Place Written: Vicksburg, Mississippi Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 22 February 1863 Pagination: 4 p. 25 x 20 cm.

Sherman writes to Ord about the Vicksburg campaign, explaining why he considers Vicksburg the hardest problem of the war. He comments on the location of the corps of Generals McPherson, McClernand and Hurlbut, and wishes Ord had a corps. Sherman also discusses the weather conditions and how he would be glad to see Ord. With pencilled underscorings. Waterstained on last page. The letter was written in a camp near Vicksburg.

Head Qrs. 15 Army Corps,
Camp Near Vicksburg Feb 22. ཻ
Maj Gen. E.O.C. Ord.

Yours of Feb 8 is just received. Tell McFeely if he has not already started to take his time. I have my old Commissary Martin with me, and he is the best in this Army. and he relieves me of all care and responsibility on this score. When McFeely joins me I shall welcome him and will endeavor also to keep Captain Martin as his assistant.
I wrote you a long letter some time ago addressed to you at Louisville. If you have not received it send to the Post office [2] at Louisville for it as think I wrote something that I wanted you to Know.
Doubtless you in common with all the world would like to know what we are about here. Others have their troubles, so have we, but probably not more than our share. Vicksburg is the hardest problem of the War. I would rather undertake Richmond, for then they can get a footing. Here we are on the west bank and the River, Rankfull of water intervenes, and we can make no landing on that Side. The canal we are digging here does not solve the problem, for the lower end of the canal, although below Vicksburg is not below the Walnut Hills which are fortified for four miles below the outlet of the Canal. Our iron clad the Indianola & Ram the Queen of the West ran the Ratlin's, but the latter was taken by the Enemy up Rio River leaving the Indianola [3] alone between Vicksburg & Port Hudson. We know nothing of the operations below at Port Hudson. Above we are cutting canals into the head of the Yazoo and Tensee, but these have been discovered by the enemy through the instrumentality of the Newspaper Spies that attend this Army, and now the Enemy obstructs as fast as our working parties clear away - McPhersons Corps is at Lake Providence. Mine and McClernand are here, and Hurlbuts at or near Memphis Jackson & Lagrange. I wish you had a Corps. and I advise you to report to Grant as soon as possible and I think you will get a Command and soon a Corps, unless you prefer the Chances East. I must confess I do not see daylight here yet, though this far we have separated the East from the West. [4] We have had a great deal of rain here, and you know how it makes the swamps here - We have no ground here even to bury our men save the line, and the roads are simply quagmires. Men have to back their rations from the Boats to their camps in the Old Cotton field. Weather has been Cool, but now the signs of spring show themselves in the budding Willows & Cottonwoods.
Indeed would I be glad to see you, and if you Cant do better come to me and act as my vice Roy. Like many a disinterested patriot I would gladly let you do all the work & I would take it Easy - Cant you run up to Lancaster, only 5 hours & See Mrs. Sherman and my little chickens. I assure you of the most hearty welcome. Love to Killburn and all friends. Ever Yr friend

Edward Otho C. Ord (1818–1883)

Edward Otho C. Ord was a major general in the Union army during the Civil War and commanded the Department of Arkansas and the Fourth Military District during Reconstruction.

Born in Cumberland, Maryland, on October 18, 1818, Edward O. C. Ord was the son of James and Rebecca Ord. The family moved to Washington DC when Ord was young. Tutored by his father, he was known as a mathematical genius. He entered the United States Military Academy at West Point at the age of sixteen. He graduated in 1839 and received a commission as a second lieutenant in the Third United States Artillery.

After service during the Second Seminole War and a promotion to first lieutenant in 1841, Ord sailed to California. Arriving in 1847, he commanded an artillery battery at Monterey and worked on the Presidio. He did not see action during the Mexican War but did serve with fellow future generals Henry Halleck and William Tecumseh Sherman. While in California, he was promoted to captain and was transferred to Fort Independence, Massachusetts, in 1850. After two years of service in Massachusetts, Ord returned to the West Coast, where he served in California, Oregon, and Washington.

Ord married Mary “Molly” Thompson in 1854, and the couple would have thirteen children. He participated in the Rogue River Indian War in Oregon in 1855. Ord was at Fort Monroe, Virginia, in 1859 when John Brown led his raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Ord was ordered to participate in putting down the raid but did not arrive in time.

At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Ord was once again in California. He returned to the eastern United States, where he received a promotion to brigadier general and commanded a brigade of Pennsylvania infantry. He saw his first action at the Battle of Dranesville, Virginia, on December 20, 1861, leading his unit to a victory against Confederate brigadier general J. E. B. Stuart. On May 3, 1862, Ord was promoted to major general and moved to the Western Theater, where he served in the Army of the Tennessee under Major General Ulysses S. Grant. Leading a division at the Battle of Hatchie’s Bridge on October 5, 1862, Ord received a serious wound. He did not return to duty until June 1863, when he took command of Major General John McClernand’s XIII corps at the Siege of Vicksburg.

With the capture of Vicksburg, Ord and the corps moved to Louisiana to serve in the Department of the Gulf. Ord returned to Virginia, where he took command of the XVIII corps in early 1864. Wounded in an attack against Fort Harrison in September, Ord returned to duty in January 1865 as the commander of the Army of the James. During a meeting with Confederate lieutenant general James Longstreet, Ord was approached about the possibility of a meeting between Grant and Robert E. Lee to discuss a way to end the war. This overture was eventually rejected by President Abraham Lincoln. Working with the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Shenandoah, the Army of the James forced the surrender of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse. Ord was present at the surrender.

Ord continued his service in the regular army after the war at the permanent rank of brigadier general. Ord took command of the Department of Arkansas and the Indian Territory in August 1866. The same month, he received a brevet promotion to major general for his service in the war.

As the commander of the department, Ord was responsible for ensuring that federal law was followed in the state. With just over 1,000 men to help enforce these laws, Ord was often at a disadvantage when tasked with arresting violators. Also serving as the assistant commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau in the state, Ord worked to protect former slaves from attack. He threatened to remove all freed people from Ashley County in response to the large number who were attacked or killed in the area. Ord authorized bureau agents to use U.S. marshals to arrest violators. The general also worked to improve working relationships between landowners and the former slaves. While he protected the freedmen from abuse and violence, he also ordered his agents to force the workers to fulfill their contracts with plantation owners and not leave before the harvest was completed. He later issued Order Number 5, calling for freedmen to continue to work to provide for their families and keep their contracts with landowners. A permanent bureau court system was proposed by Ord but not supported by the administration of Andrew Johnson. He did, however, successfully increase the number of schools for freedmen in the state. Ord was replaced as assistant commissioner in Mach 1867.

Congress took control of Reconstruction the same month. The states that seceded from the Union, with the exception of Tennessee, were divided into five military districts and were occupied by Federal troops. The Fourth District consisted of Arkansas and Mississippi, and it was further subdivided into departments. Ord took command of the district, with his headquarters at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Brevet Brigadier General Charles Smith commanded the Department of Arkansas. Ord went to Little Rock (Pulaski County) in April to remove L. B. Cunningham as the Arkansas state treasurer. The Arkansas Supreme Court had ruled that scrips issued by the state Confederate government could be payable by the treasury, and Ord appointed a new treasurer to ensure that this did not occur. The same month, he informed Governor Isaac Murphy that the recessed Arkansas General Assembly would not be allowed to reconvene. This was to prevent the body from trying Unionist judges for actions taken during the war.

Ord also forbade any state money to be paid to the families of deceased Confederate soldiers if the same amounts were not also made available to the families of Union soldiers. The general created tribunals to oversee crop disputes between landlords and tenants, as many tenants were too poor to appear in state court. He also established military commissions to try criminal cases when local courts were unable to do so or when an assault or murder occurred. Fifteen cases were tried in Arkansas, most involving stolen livestock. Ord also directed both states to extend the assistance offered through poor laws to African Americans. Ord ordered that groups of armed civilians be prevented from assembling in order to curtail the intimidation of African Americans. His troops and bureau agents began voter registration efforts for freedmen in June 1867. By September, more than 66,000 whites and freedmen were registered.

An election to call a constitutional convention was held in November 1867, and the voters approved the measure. It began meeting in Little Rock on January 7, 1868. Two days later, Ord turned his command over to Major General Alvan Gillem and departed for San Francisco, California, to take command of the Department of the Pacific. Holding the command for three years, he next led the Department of the Platte with headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. Ord commanded the District of Texas from 1875 until 1880, when he retired from the army.

In retirement, Ord worked for a railroad company in Mexico, where he contracted yellow fever. He died in Havana, Cuba, on July 22, 1883. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

From the Diary of Captain Edward Ord

On March 26, 1856, a military unit under the command of Captain Edward Ord, left the mouth of the Rogue River to locate and destroy the "Mack-a-noo-tenay" Indian village known to be up the Rogue River.

The group consisted of the 55 men of "B" Company, 3rd Artillery, under the command of Lieutenant Drysdale and 38 men of "F" Company, 4th Infantry under the leadership of Captain Delancy Floyd Jones.

Guided by W. Walker, and following a "bridle path" through mountainous country the party reached the village the following afternoon at about 2:00 o'clock. The village was located on a river bottom. Ord's company entered the area from the East. The Indian houses stood in a row on the river side of the flat and appeared to have been recently vacated. About 100 yards north of the houses were steep slopes that were thickly wooded. To the West end of the bottom some 50 yards from the houses, was a thick growth of willows. To the East, or upper end of the bottom where Ord entered, and approximately 200 yards from the houses, were steep wooded slopes.

The Rogue River at this point was 80 to 150 yards wide and ran fast and deep. The mountains on the south shore and at the East and West end of the village came down to the water, completely enclosing the bottom and making it accessible to the mounted men only by the trail they had taken.

Ord found 8 or 10 houses on the bottom. He gave the order to burn the houses. As his men were preparing to fire the village Ord spotted some Indians coming down a high ridge across the river. Ord decided that he might be attacked while firing the village so before applying the torch he took defensive action.

First, he had Captain Jones march his men through the woods clear around the village and placed them in the willows at the West end of the bottom. He deployed them there extending from the mountains to the river.

Next, he sent all but 12 of his company into the wooded area north of the village under the command of Lt. Drysdale. Then the village was torched and the advance guard was stationed under cover of the burning houses so that they could return any fire coming from the base of the mountain across the river.

When the houses started burning Ord studied the movements of the Indians on the south bank of the Rogue about a quarter of a mile up stream. From what he saw he became convinced that the Indians were crossing the river in force so they could attack from the timbered spurs which hemmed in the village on the North and East. He could see that from the bottom the approaches to these ridges were steep and bare. Since Ord wanted to occupy the spurs ahead of the Indians time now became a factor. Ord told Captain Jones to face his company towards the bottom and double-quick East to the ridges. Jones had 300 yards to cross. The indians got there before he did. Jones immediately attacked.

Meanwhile, the 12 men that Ord had left with the blankets and provisions on the East slope, where he had entered, came under attack. The Indians had approached the guard from above and rushed down at them.

Seeing this, Ord sent Drysdale in a flanking movement to the ridges of timber North of the blankets and provisions from which the Indians were attacking the guards. Drysdale arrived at that point as the Indians were coming down the hill at a run and he was able to drive a portion of them back. Some of the Indians had already crossed the bare ground and entered a wooded knoll. Ord gathered the advanced guard and the guards driven from the provisions and drove the Indians from the knoll towards Lt. Drysdale, catching the Indians in a crossfire between the knoll and the slope. The Indians found themselves in the very position in which they had hoped to place Ord. This cost several Indians their lives.

The Indians, however, still held the ridge where Jones had driven them after two or three rushes. Ord then used the advance guard and some of "B" Company that had followed him through the wooded knoll and charged, driving the Indians out of the spur after some difficulty.

At this point the troops commanded the crossing where the Indians had left 30 canoes and had driven the Indians from every side of the village. Seven Indians lay dead on the village side of the river. The rest of the Indians ran for their canoes. Three more Indians were killed going back across the river. The time was approximately 4:00 pm.

Ord called in the men. Prior to engaging the Indians the men had completed what Ord called the ". roughest days march he had ever made. " He formed the men up in good order and gathered up every animal and vehicle they had brought with them. They then left the area and headed up the mountain to a camp site some 2 1/2 miles from the village.

Ord had a difficult time urging the exhausted men along. He gave his saddle mule to his First Sergeant who was in charge of the rear guard so that the sergeant could carry a badly wounded soldier. This man and a recruit with a foot wound were the only casualties suffered by trhe soldiers.

Some of the men later made sedan chairs for the wounded and they proceeded towards camp. The march was exceedingly slow. There was no water so they walked until 1 am when they finally reached the campsite. With the difficulty encountered in carrying the wounded up steep mountains and through dense underbrush at night, and the frequent stops to remount the wounded and renew torches, it took six hours to cover the 2 1/2/ miles.

In his belated report, Ord expressed satisfaction with the performance or his men. He noted that Captain Jones, Lt. Drysdale, acting assistant surgeon C. D. Hill and the non-commissioned officers of "B" Company, 3rd Artillery and "F" Company, 4th Infantry, performed with as much promptness in carrying out his orders as the generally raw material of the party permitted. He also mentioned that it was but just to specify First Sergeant Nash, Sergeant Hamilton and Privates Muldowney and Smith of Company "B" 3rd Artillery.

Captain Ord later served as a General in the Civil War and a Fort near Monterrey, California still bears his name.

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Ord was born in Maria Fitzherbert [1] but he seems likely to have been the son of Ralph Ord, who was baptised at Wapping, Middlesex, in 1757, the son of John Ord, a factor (agent) from Berwick-upon-Tweed. [2] Edward Ord was considered a mathematical genius and was appointed to the United States Military Academy by President Andrew Jackson. His roommate at West Point was future general William T. Sherman. He graduated in 1839 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Artillery. He fought in the Second Seminole War in Florida and was promoted to first lieutenant.

In January 1847, he sailed on the steamship Lexington around Cape Horn with Henry Halleck and William Sherman. He arrived in Monterey, California, and assumed command of Battery F, 3rd U.S. Artillery, with orders to complete Fort Mervine (at the site of the former Spanish presidio), which was renamed Fort Halleck. Its construction was superintended by Lieutenant Ord and his second in command, Lieutenant Sherman. On February 17, 1865, the fort was renamed Ord Barracks. (It is now known again by its original name,the Presidio of Monterey.)

Ord was in California when the gold rush began, with its resultant skyrocketing prices. Since their military salaries no longer covered living expenses, Ord's commander suggested that the younger officers take on other jobs to supplement their income. In the fall of 1848, Ord and Sherman, in the employ of John Augustus Sutter, Jr., assisted Captain William H. Warner of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the survey of Sacramento, California, helping to produce the map that established the future capital city's extensive downtown street grid. Ord also produced a map of the Gold and Quicksilver district of California dated July 25, 1848. Later, Los Angeles officials needed to have a survey of the public lands in order to sell them, and Ord was hired as the surveyor. He chose William Rich Hutton as his assistant, and together the two mapped Los Angeles in July and August 1849. Thanks to the efforts of these two men, historians have a fairly good view of what the Pueblo de Los Angeles looked like at the middle of the 19th century. Lieutenant Ord surveyed the pueblo and his assistant Hutton sketched many scenes of the pueblo and drew the first map from Ord's survey. [3] The Los Angeles City Archives has the original map produced by Hutton from Ord's survey. Ord was paid $3000 for his work on this survey.

Ord was promoted to captain in 1850, while serving in the Pacific Northwest. He married Mary Mercer Thompson on October 14, 1854, and they eventually had thirteen children. One of their notable children was Jules Garesche Ord who was killed in action after reaching the top of San Juan Hill in Cuba. He was the officer who started and led the charge which Teddy Roosevelt followed. Another was Edward Otho Cresap Ord, II who was also a United States Army Major who served with the 22nd Infantry Regiment during the Indian Wars, the Spanish–American War and the Philippine-American War. He was also a painter, inventor and poet. The son of Edward Otho Cresap Ord, II and grandson of Edward Ord was James Garesche Ord, who commanded the 28th Infantry Division and was Chairman of the Joint U.S.-Brazil Defense Commission in World War II.

In 1859, while attending artillery school at Fort Monroe, Virginia, Ord was summoned by Secretary of War John B. Floyd to quell John Brown's raid on the Harpers Ferry Federal arsenal. However, Col. Robert E. Lee reached Harpers Ferry first, and Colonel Lee telegraphed to Captain Ord that the situation was under control and Ord and his men would not be needed at Harpers Ferry. They were instructed to halt at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

September 19, 2018

This map, a copy of Col. Edward Ord’s map of 1850, is etched on stone as a part of the remarkable Biddy Mason Memorial on Spring Street downtown.

Col. Ord, newly posted to Monterey, was apparently paid by the U.S. Army sporadically. So he hired out his surveying skills to the newly-Americanized state, and got several good job offers. The best was the re-laying out of the Ciudad de Los Angeles, restoring the intention of the Felipe de Neve arrangement. Note the faint saltire directional cross converging on the Plaza also, note how everything east of the River is farm lots. Pobladores lived in town, and walked across the River out to their fields.

As a bustling farm town and provincial capital, LA was full of squatters, drifters, smugglers and “entertainers”. LA had let its streets meander, and ramshackle adobe construction had grown up, stretching and sprawling just anyplace. So in 1850 the Los Angeles ayuntamiento, relaxing a bit after the tension of the Mexican War, were slowly groping towards an understanding that their grants and lots, guaranteed to them by the Capitulation, could actually be turned into real estate on Yankee terms. But this could happen only if the town was properly squared, official boundaries marked, and the streets graded and surveyed. So they hired a Yankee to do the job.

The city offered Col. Ord his choice: several fine, central Los Angeles blocks, or a lump payment of $3,000. Considering his need for immediate income, it’s not surprising that he took the cash. But imagine what his empty downtown blocks would have been worth after just a few years&hellip

A prominent street in Chinatown was named after the Colonel &ndash Ord Street.

Photo, Print, Drawing [Edward O.C. Ord, half-length portrait, seated, facing right]

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