John R. Ward

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Dr. John R. Ward
in Campbell Co. Va.
Feb. 14, 1840
Died in Austin Tex.
Dec. 11, 1884
Surgeon, 11th Virginia Reg.
A Confederate Soldier
Aug. 20, 1958
Full Name: John R. Ward
Location: Section:Confederate Field, Section 2 (D)
Row:J  Number:7
Reason for Eligibility: Confederate Veteran 
Birth Date: February 14, 1840 
Died: December 11, 1884 
Burial Date: Reinterred August 20, 1958 
WARD, JOHN R. (1840~1884) John R. Ward, Confederate veteran and doctor, was born in Campbell County, Virginia, on February 14, 1840. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Virginia Medical Department in 1860, he enlisted in the Lynchburg Home Guard, a company of the Virginia Militia, where he was appointed Assistant Surgeon on November 2, 1861. Later that same month, on November 16, Dr. Ward and the other members of the Home Guard were mustered into Company G in the 11th Virginia Infantry.

On June 22, 1863, Ward was promoted to Surgeon by Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. His appointment was later confirmed by the Confederate Senate on January 30, 1864. Other than what was mentioned above, no other information is known about his service during the Civil War.

After the War, in 1871, Ward moved to Texas and settled in Austin, where he worked as a dentist, before leaving his practice to become a farmer and a land speculator. After amassing a sizeable estate, he died of tuberculosis on December 11, 1884. He was buried the next day in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.

While much of Ward’s personal history is unknown, he was married to Louisa Hartsook and had at least one child, a daughter, Sallie, who was born in Austin in 1873. Sallie married John King Beretta of San Antonio, on December 9, 1896. Together, they had a son, John Ward Beretta, who was president of the First National Bank of San Antonio.

In 1958, John Ward Beretta, who was immensely interested in his family’s history, petitioned the State Board of Control, now the Texas Building and Procurement Commission, who, at that time, was the state agency in charge of the Texas State Cemetery, to have his grandfather’s body moved to Texas’ burial ground for its heroes and public officials.

Successful in his attempt, Dr. Ward’s remains were reinterred on August 20, 1958, because of his service to the Confederacy. From 1994 to 1997, the State Cemetery was completely restored by the State of Texas, and, during that time, Dr. Ward’s body was moved for a second time, to its current location.

Information taken from: Materials in Texas State Cemetery Archives; information provided by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Frederick, Maryland; Charles E. Chambers, “Virginia Confederates in Texas,” (1993); History of the “Lynchburg Home Guard,; Douglas K. Boyd, “Confederate Veterans at Rest,” (1996); obituary, Austin Statesman, December 12, 1884; "The Handbook of Texas Online. [Accessed Wed Mar 24 11:39:40 US/Central 2004].
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