Born on February 24, 1843, he served in the Civil War as Private, 4th Battalion, Massachusetts Milita, April 16, 1861; First Lieutenant, 24th Massachusetts, September 2, 1861; Captain, July 5, 1864; Major, November 21, 1864; Lieutenant Colonel, April 6, 1865; Colonel, May 7, 1865. He was breveted Brigadier General, United States Volunteers, for war services. He was Aide-de-Camp to Henry Prince at New Bern, North Carolina; Provost Marhal General of Virginia following the War.
He moved to Washington, D.C. and was Commander of the D.C. National Guard at the time of his death on November 21, 1897.
His private memorial in Section 1 of Arlington National Cemtery reads:
This monument erected by the officers and men of the District of Columbia National Guard in loving recognition of soldierly ability and unselfishness manliness of the highest and most uncommon character.
A relative, Godwin Ordway, Jr., Colonel, United States Army (his grandson), is buried in the gravesite directly in front of the General's.
Buried elsewhere in Arlington National Cemetery are:
Godwin Ordway, Jr., Colonel, United States Army (his son)
Rodman Nicholas Ordway, Cadet, United States Military Academy (his Grandson)
Roderic E. Ordway, Colonel, United States Army, His Great-Grandson
Albert Ordway of Massachusetts
Private, 4th Battalion, Massachusetts Militia, 9 April 1861
First Lieutenant, 24th Massachusetts Infantry, 2 September 1861
Captain, 5 July 1864
Major, 21November 1864
Lieutenant Colonel, 6 April 1865
Colonel, 7 May 1865
Breveted Colonel and Brigadier General, United States Volunteers, 13 March 1865 for highly meritorious service during the Civil War
Honorably mustered out 10 February 1866;
Died 21 November 1897
GENERAL ALBERT ORDWAY DEAD
End Hastened Over Grief Over His Daughter And Excitement of Reconciliation
Just Back From Europe
Was To Have Met His Prodigal Child At a Reunion of the Family in Washington
His Military and Political Career
November 22, 1897 – General Albert Ordway of the United States Army died at the Hoffman House (New York City) at 7:15o’clock last evening, from jaundice and pleurisy, after a lingering illness, which had lasted for two years. There were present at his bedside Mrs. Ordway, his sister, Miss Emma Ordway, Lieutenant E. W. Very, his old friend and business associate, and his physician, Dr. D. P.Pease. The body will be taken to Washington today.
The General returned from Europe last Tuesday and went at once to the Hoffman House. He became seriously ill, and gradually grew worse. Friday it was thought he could not live through the day, but he rallied, and his relatives had hopes Saturday that he would recover. But yesterday afternoon he again began to sink, and Dr. Pease told his friends and relatives that the end was near.
General Ordway was born in Massachusetts in 1840 and was a member of an old and respected family of that State. He served in the Federal Army as a volunteer officer of a regiment of colored soldiers and at the end of the war held the rank of Major, with a brevet as Brigadier General.
His regiment was part of the force which occupied Richmond after the surrender of that city and he settled there when he was mustered out. He was intensely unpopular among the people because of the circumstances in which he arrived there, but his engaging manners and straightforward conduct and the fact that he identified himself thoroughly with local interests gained for him by degrees not only social recognition but political strength. He was elected President of the City Council of Richmond as a Conservative – the old Whigs there having not yet learned to call themselves “Democrats.” He was also the Conservative nominee for Congress in his district, but was defeated by a Republican.
He was made Colonel of the First Regiment of Virginia Militia organized after the war, and did much to develop and improve the military service of the State. He owned for several years successfully operated a slate quarry in Buckingham County, Virginia, but the enterprise finally failed, and he went to Washington. There he renewed his interest in military affairs, and was made General of the Militia of the District of Columbia. In Washington he was employed as agent for the Hotchkiss Gun and was efficient and successful.
His wife was Miss Godwin of Richmond, and Bettina Girard, the actress, his daughter, was born in that city.
There was little doubt that the General’s illness was made worse and his death hastened by the troubles of his daughter and the strain involved in the reconciliation between her and her parents, which took place after their arrival from Europe. On Wednesday, Mrs. Ordway called on her daughter in Bellevue Hospital, taking with her the sick woman’s child. There the reconciliation took place after years of separation. Mrs. Ordway had her daughter taken to a private sanitarium. General Ordway could not go to the hospital with his wife. He agreed, however, to his wife’s plans for the return of the prodigal, and a reunion of the family in Washington was arranged.
Bettina’s escapades and her constantly downward course have brought great affliction to her family. She was married to Arthur Padelford, of the well-known Maryland family of that name, and they had one child. Her name became unpleasantly connected with that of Carl Streitman, the singer, and divorce followed. She went on the comic opera stage and then there came her marriage to a man named Gerard, her agreement to drop the name of Pedelford for $50,000 in cash, a divorce from Gerard, marriage for Jack Raffael, a tenor, divorce again and marriage to John Harrison Wolff, an actor. After him came William Beach, another actor, and then Phillip Schuyler became her husband. General Ordway offered to give her $1,000 annually if she would leave the country and she went to London. She sank rapidly lower until she reached Bellevue Hospital and the private sanitarium.
BRIG GEN US VOL
DATE OF DEATH: 11/20/1897
BURIED AT: SECTION WS SITE 550
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
ORDWAY, MISSOURI BUTLER W/O ALBERT
DATE OF DEATH: 04/29/1928
BURIED AT: SECTION W-E SITE LOT 550
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard