Jules Garesche Ord – First Lieutenant, United States Army

Jules Garesche Ord of Michigan
Army Private and Quartermaster Sergeant, 1st United States Infantry, 16 August 1887 to 9 November 1890
Second Lieutenant, 18th United States Infantry, 6 November 1890
First Lieutenant,   6th United States Infantry, 7 August 1897
Killed 1 July 1898 in the battle of San Juan, Santiago, Cuba

A son of General E.O.C. Ord, he was born on September 9, 1866.

He served in the Spanish-American War and as killed-in-action on July 1, 1898 and was reportedly the first American soldier up San Juan Hill in that famous action in which he died.

He was first buried on the spot where he fell and was subsequently moved to Section 2 of Arlington National Cemtery where he rests among many other family members.

Lieutenant Jules Garesche Ord of Hawkins’ staff had remarked to a friend that he would come out of this battle either as a Colonel or a corpse. Seeing the futility of remaining exposed to galling fire, he told Hawkins, “General, if you will order a charge, I will lead it.”

Ord’s commander remembered the costly charges against an entrenched enemy during the Civil War. He said nothing. At about that same time, they heard the pounding of Parker’s Gatlings.

Ord again spoke up: “If you do not wish to order a charge, General, I should like to volunteer. May I volunteer? We can’t stay here, can we?”

“I would not ask any man to volunteer,” replied the general.

“If you do not forbid it, I will start it,” returned Ord.

Hawkins pondered the situation for a moment. He observed the impact of the Gatlings kicking up clouds of yellow dust on the Spanish entrenchments. The other two brigades were not yet on line.

Undaunted by the silence, Ord again spoke up, “I only ask you not to refuse permission.”

Hawkins looked at this enthusiastic young officer. “I will not ask for volunteers, I will not give permission and I will not refuse it,” he said. “God bless you and good luck!”

A smile flashed across the Lieutenant’s face. With pistol in one hand, sword in the other, he ran forward at a crouch, shouting: “Come on — come on, you fellows! Come on — we can’t stop here.”

A spontaneous cry went up along the line. The waiting under fire was over. The men moved forward with Ord in the lead. Hawkins positioned himself between his two regiments and encouraged his men along the way.

Lieutenant Jules Ord of the 6th Infantry Regiment was advancing and reached the top of the hill first when he was shot through the chin. Corporal Walker of D Troop saw Ord’s killer and dispatched him in return, thus avenging the death of the first American to reach the top of the hill. Also during the assault on the heights, Captain Bigelow was wounded in action and the leadership of his troop was taken over by Lieutenant Pershing.  After securing the hill the troop was used by General Sumner as a reserve.

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