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Edward Ord

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Edward Ord
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Edward Ord

Edward Otho Cresap Ord (October 18, 1818July 22, 1883) was the designer of Fort Sam Houston, and a U.S. Army officer who saw action in the Seminole War, the Indian Wars, and the Civil War.

Ord was born in Cumberland, Maryland. Some accounts claim that he was a grandson of King George IV of England. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Artillery regiment after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1839.

Thanks to the efforts of two men we have a fairly good view of what the pueblo of Los Angeles looked like at the middle of the 19th century. Lieutenant Ord surveyed the pueblo and his assistant William Rich Hutton sketched many scenes of the pueblo and drew the first map from Ord's survey. Ord was in California when the gold rush struck, with its resultant skyrocketing of prices. Since the military salaries no longer covered living expenses, Ord's commander suggested that the younger officers take on other jobs to supplement their income.

At about this time 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 Hutton as his assistant, and together the two mapped Los Angeles in July and August of 1849. The Los Angeles City Archives has the original map produced by Hutton from Ord's survey.

Ord was promoted to captain in 1850 while serving in the Pacific Northwest.

In 1862 Ord was promoted to the rank of major general and commanded the 2nd Division of the Army of the Tennessee at Corinth. Although he was seriously wounded at Battle of Hatchie's Bridge in Mississippi, he returned to duty and commanded the XIII Corps during the last part of the Vicksburg Campaign. During the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign he commanded the XVIII Corps and was seriously wounded in the attack on Fort Harrison. He was in command of the Army of the James during the Appomattox Campaign.

Ord married Mary Mercer Thompson on October 14, 1854, and they had thirteen children. He retired from the army in 1880 and worked on railroad construction in Mexico. He died in Havana, Cuba, from yellow fever. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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