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Ord Family Papers 2

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS267

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

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.


  • 1848 - 1969
  • Majority of material found within 1848 - 1923

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

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.


22 Linear Feet (25 boxes)

Language of Materials


Ord Family Papers 2
Scott S. Taylor. Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057