Edward Otho Cresap Ord (1818 – 1883) Signed Slip, "E. O. C. Ord, BtMaj - 3A B Genl USA", was a West Point graduate, an American engineer, and United States Army officer who saw action in the Seminole War, the Indian Wars, and the American Civil War. He commanded an army during the final days of the Civil War, and was instrumental in forcing the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
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. He did the survey of Sacramento, CA, helping to produce the map that established the future capital city's extensive downtown street grid. 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 and an assistant mapped Los Angeles in July and August 1849.
In May 1862 General Ord was assigned to the Army of the Tennessee and soon engaged the Confederate forces in their retreat at the Battle of Hatchie's Bridge where he was seriously wounded and had to leave field command only for a short time. He then assumed command of the XIII Corps during the final days of the Siege of Vicksburg. In the fall of 1864 he was seriously wounded again in the attack on Fort Harrison, in Virginia (Sept 1864), and did not return to action until January 1865. It was at this time, during the spring of 1865, that Ord's career peaked. He was assigned command of the Army of the James during the Appomattox Campaign. General Sherman said that he "had always understood that [Ord's] skillful, hard march the night before was one of the chief causes of Lee's surrender." General Ord was present at the McLean house when Lee surrendered, and is often pictured in paintings of this event. When the surrender ceremony was complete, Ord purchased as a souvenir, for $40, the marble-topped table at which Lee had sat. It now resides in the Chicago Historical Society's Civil War Room. After Abraham Lincoln's assassination on April 14, 1865, many in the North, including Ulysses S. Grant, wanted strong retribution on the Southern states. Grant called upon Ord to find out if the assassination conspiracy extended beyond Washington, D.C. Ord's investigation determined the Confederate government was not involved with the assassination plot. This helped greatly to quench the call for revenge on the former Confederate states and people. In fine condition, with some age stains along edges.