Edward Ord was born in 1818. He joined the United States Army and saw action in the Seminole War and the Indian Wars. Ord also served under Robert E. Lee during the suppression of John Brown at Harper's Ferry.
On the outbreak of the American Civil War Ord was involved in the defence of Washington before joining the Army of Tennessee. Promoted to the rank of major general he commanded the 2nd Division at Corinth. Seriously wounded at Hatchie he returned to duty during the Vicksburg campaign.
In March, 1867, Congress passed the first Reconstruction Act. The South was now divided into five military districts, each under a major general. President Andrew Johnson appointed Ord as military governor of Arkansas and Mississippi.
Edward Ord retired in 1880 and died in 1883.