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Ozzy

General EOC Ord and the Battle of Dranesville

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As anyone who has made the attempt knows, it is difficult to find a comprehensive story of Edward O. C. Ord's involvement, and contribution, to the Civil War. And details concerning Brigadier General Ord's first engagement, at Dranesville, Virginia, in December 1861, are especially difficult to unearth. The story of Dranesville is important to us at SDG because, although EOC Ord was not present at Battle of Shiloh, the loss of so many Union Generals (WHL Wallace, died from wound; B. M. Prentiss, captured; John P. Cook, forced to take sick leave; C.F. Smith, succumbed to infection of leg, injured in boat mishap) forced Henry Halleck to call for senior officers in the east to come West; and one of these was Major General Ord (who gained promotion to MGen due to the record of his performance at Battle of Dranesville.) MGen Ord arrived at Pittsburg Landing in June 1862 to replace the seriously unwell Thomas A. Davies as commander of the Second Division, Army of West Tennessee, but was soon installed as commander, Post of Corinth on 22 June 1862, replacing General George Thomas.

Emerging Civil War has created a short video discussing the Battle of Dranesville with historian Ryan Quint, who intends to write a history of Ord and Dranesville over the next few years:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBBoIscEpt4  Emerging Civil War "Battle of Dranesville" by Ryan Quint, interviewed by Dan Welch.

 

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Why is the above information important? First, because it illustrates what happens to a Civil War battlefield if not properly protected (Dranesville, less than two miles east of Dulles International Airport, has been absorbed by suburban sprawl from Washington, D.C.) And second, if we accept that William T. Sherman, James B. McPherson, Philip Sheridan, EOC Ord, Grenville Dodge, and John Rawlins were members of Ulysses S. Grant's "Inner Circle" by 1864, then knowing when Grant first encountered these men, and became aware of the talents each one brought to his exclusive team is essential to understanding U.S. Grant, because Grant did not achieve greatness on his own. Like many capable leaders, U.S. Grant identified talent, and benefited from a willingness of the men comprising his Inner Circle to commit themselves to Grant and his vision for prosecuting the war. And with the exception of Grenville Dodge (who brought an intelligence collection network to Grant's team) all of the named men were known to General Grant by the time Henry Halleck departed Corinth for Washington, D.C.

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