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Durbin Ward (1819 – 1886)

Posted in Interesting Items  by Steven on November 22nd, 2008

Thought I’d get back into the the habit of really updating the blog, instead of just posting “twitters” in the side column.

Today’s look is at Mr. Durbin Ward of Ohio. Self-taught and a voracious reader as a youngster, as an adult he passed the bar and became law partners with fellow Whig Thomas Corwin, who would later serve as Ohio’s Governor and as both US Congressman and Senator.

By the eve of the Civil War, he had switched parties to Democrat and served in several state offices, as well as being an established attorney. When President Lincoln called for volunteers to put down the Rebellion in April 1861, Ward was the first man in his Congressional district to volunteer.  He refused a politically-appointed commission as an officer, preferring to enlist as a private in Co. “F”, 12th Ohio Infantry.  By August 1861, he had been promoted to Major of the 17th Ohio, Lt Colonel 16 months later, and commanding the 17th Ohio as Colonel in November 1863.

It was leading the 17th Ohio at Chickamauga that he was severely wounded, crippling his left arm for life. At the end of the war, he received a brevet promotion to Brigadier General in recognition of his “gallant and meritorious conduct” at Chickamauga.

He returned to the practice of law after the war, and served as US District Attorney of Southern Ohio.

Here is his clipped autograph, formerly mounted in an album, but now unmounted. You may bid on this item by using the “Hollingsworth on Ebay” link to the right.

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