Calvin M. Ward

Private, Company D, 70th Indiana Volunteer Regiment

Private Calvin M. Ward 1835-1864

Calvin M. Ward was born in Ohio on 18 August 1835. He married Mary Ann Harris in 1854.
In 1859 they moved to Morgan County, Indiana to farm near the town of Monrovia.

~ 1862 ~

Calvin Ward, 27 years old and by now father of 5, enlists for three year's service on July 22, 1862 at Indianapolis, Indiana in Captain Johnson's Company (which is later designated Company D) of the 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The commanding officer is Captain Benjamin Harrison who will later become 23rd President of the United States.

The 70th Indiana is raised by Harrison July 7, 1862 at Indianapolis, and is mustered into Federal service on July 22, 1862 for duration of three years' service. The regiment is initially armed with imported .58 caliber Enfield Rifle-Muskets produced in Great Britain. The family photo (above) of Calvin clearly shows his musket to be an Enfield.

Family history suggests that Calvin may have been paid to serve in place of his older brother, Josiah. Known as "substitution", this is a legal and common practice during the war, although in most cases, it is usually the relative without dependents who serves in the place of relatives with families. Perhaps the arrival of the new baby (Charles Elisha) in May prompts Calvin to enlist for the promised regular income in addition to his brother's enlistment bounty of $100.00. Calvin receives an initial bounty payment of $25.00.

The 70th is sent to Louisville, Kentucky on August 13, 1862, and from there to Bowling Green to begin the ever-necessary railroad guard duty along the line of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.

Following its baptism of Fire at Russellville and Glasgow, the end of October, 1862, finds the 70th Indiana, Colonel Benjamin Harrison, commanding, in garrison at Bowling Green Kentucky. The Garrison Commander is Colonel Sanders D. Bruce. The Bowling Green garrison is a component of the District of Louisville, commanded by Brigadier General Jeremiah T. Boyle, within The Army of Kentucky, commanded by Major General Gordon Granger and is assigned to the Department of the Ohio, Commanded by Major General Horatio G. Wright. In November the regiment is moved first to Scottsville and then to Gallatin, Tennessee where it continues guarding the Louisville & Nashville Railroad from Gallatin to Nashville, a distance of 45 miles, paralleling the Cumberland River.

On June 8, 1863 Special Field Order No. 156, is issued from the Headquarters, Department of the Cumberland at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, transferring the 70th Indiana, Colonel Harrison, Commanding, from 4th Division, XIV Corps to Reserve Corps, Major General Gordon Granger, commanding. The regiment is now in the 2nd Brigade, commanded by Brigadier General William T. Ward of the 3rd Division, commanded by Brigadier General Robert S. Granger. The Reserve Corps of the XIV corps is also known as the Army of Kentucky.

~ 1863 ~

The Tables of Organization for July 31, 1863 show the 70th Indiana and Private Ward listed as being part of Major General George H. Thomas' XIV Corps in the Army of the Cumberland, commanded by Major General William Rosecrans. The Army of the Cumberland at this time includes those portions of Tennessee east of the Tennessee River and the portions of Alabama and Georgia now under Federal Control.

In the Army of the Cumberland, Colonel Benjamin Harrison of the 70th Indiana is fast becoming "unpopular with the troops... because he insists on turning raw recruits into disciplined soldiers". Perhaps because of this personality trait, on the 31st of August, Harrison is reassigned to command of the 2nd Brigade of the Reserve Corps, Army of the Cumberland. Lieutenant Colonel James Burgess assumes command of the 70th Indiana.

On October 27, 1863, Brigadier General R. S. Granger reports that the 70th Indiana is now in garrison in Nashville, Tennessee. Four days later, on October 31, 1863, Colonel Harrison resumes command of the 70th Indiana, which is now assigned to Ward's Brigade (Brigadier General William T. Ward), Miscellaneous Corps at Nashville.

Calvin Ward and the 70th Indiana spend New Year's in garrison at the Post of Nashville, commanded by Brigadier General Robert S. Granger, District of Nashville (Major General Lovell H. Rousseau), XIV Corps, Major General John M. Palmer, commanding.

~ 1864 ~

Major General George H. Thomas notes in his journal entry for January 2, 1864 that: "A new Division is to be formed...known as the 1st Division, XI Corps, commanded by Brigadier General W. T. Ward..." Calvin Ward and the 70th Indiana are to become part of the new Division.

The 70th Indiana is now commanded by Major Samuel Merrill, replacing Colonel Harrison, who now commands the 1st Brigade of O. O. Howard's XI Corps. The combined XI and XII Corps are commanded by Major General Joseph Hooker.

On February 24, 1864, the 70th Indiana is ordered to Wauhatchie, Tennessee, southwest of Chattanooga near the Georgia border.

On April 4, 1864, Calvin Ward and the 70th Indiana find themselves part of a new army corps (XX Corps) in the reorganization of the army for the coming campaign against Atlanta. The new Corps Commander is Major General Joseph (Fighting Joe) Hooker, former commander of the Army of the Potomac. The 70th Indiana is again commanded by Colonel Harrison, and is in Brigadier General W. T. Ward's 1st Brigade of the 3rd Division. This division is commanded by Major General Daniel Butterfield, who is known as the composer of a new bugle call known as the soldier's lullaby - known today as "Taps".

On May 8-11, 1864 Private Ward experiences his first major engagement in the Battle of Rocky Face Ridge, Georgia, one of the early actions of Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Calvin and the 70th Indiana are part of a Union "demonstration" (show of force where a decision is not sought) in front of the Confederate forces under the command of Brigadier General Joseph Eggleston Johnston, who occupy the high ground. The Confederates repulse 8 separate attacks by the Federals between the 7th and 9th of May. The Atlanta Campaign pushes south through Buzzard's Roost, Varnell's Station, and Snake Creek Gap to the northwest of Resaca, Georgia.

Battlefield Statistics:
Rocky Face Ridge, Georgia










~ 15 May 1864 ~

 On this day, Private Calvin Ward steps off into the fighting in his final battle - at Resaca, Georgia.

The Battle of Resaca, Georgia had begun the day before when the Confederate forces under Johnston had been enveloped by the Union forces from the north and west. Johnston's Division commanders are William Joseph Hardee and John Bell Hood. The first day of battle is fought to a stalemate on the evening of the 14th.

Just before noon on the 15th of May, 1864, Hooker's XX Corps, Army of the Cumberland, advances upon the Confederate positions in the last phase of the battle. The 70th Indiana and Private Ward, again under the command of Benjamin Harrison, are in the 1st Brigade (commanded by Brigadier General William Thomas Ward) of General Daniel Butterfield's 3rd Division which leads the attack. The Indianans under Ward storm the Confederate trenches, but are driven back by a secondary line of rebels.

Because of the configuration of the terrain, the Confederates have "unusual facilities for cross-firing and enfilading" and the Union troops suffer greatly, advancing to the rebel lines and even capturing a Georgia battery. In the end, however, the Confederate line holds.

Calvin, aged 27, is one of 143 men of the 70th Indiana wounded in this action (the exact nature of his wounds is unknown, but they prove to be mortal).

The differing accounts of his death may never be resolved. His pension forms state that he died either "instantly" or of wounds on the 15th of May. Records in the Adjutant General's Office in Indianapolis say that he was seriously wounded and died two days later in the hospital. Family histories speculate that he was taken to the 3rd Division, XX Army Corps Hospital where he died of his wounds two days later on May 17, 1864. In any case, he is buried in the National Cemetery at Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Although the Confederate forces are not driven back, Sherman's army is able to turn their position, forcing Johnston to retreat to Calhoun, Georgia. The 70th Indiana suffers "the heaviest number of casualties of any Union Regiment engaged". 29 men are killed in action, and 143 are wounded.

Battlefield Statistics:
Resaca, Georgia










Private Calvin M. Ward 1835-1864
National Cemetery Chattanooga, Tennessee

~ 1865 ~

A year later, on 26 April 1965, the 70th Indiana Volunteer Regiment is involved in the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston at Bennett's House near Durham, North Carolina. The regiment is mustered out of Federal Service on 8 June 1865, one year and 22 days after Calvin Ward's death at Resaca.

The Muster-out Roll of Company D, 70th Indiana Infantry shows that Calvin had drawn $21.26 against his clothing account, and that the government still owes $75.00 of the $100.00 bounty he had taken upon his enlistment nearly 2 years before. Calvin was survived by his wife, Mary Ann and 5 children: 3 girls and 2 boys.


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United States, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1864-1927.
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Molyneaux, Myrtle Wheeler, letter to author, August 6, 1993
Regimental Histories:
70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Merrill, Samuel, The Seventieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, Bowen-Merrill Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1900.
Meredith, William Morton, A Memory of Reseca [sic], no. 89, Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1912.

All of the above data and photos have been provided through the courtesy of Paul D. Martin,
the great-great grandson of Calvin Ward.