(c. 1830 - 1862)
Home State: New York
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 63rd New York Infantry
Age 31, he enlisted on 2 October 1861 in New York City and mustered in as Private, Company H, 63rd New York Infantry on 19 October.
On the Campaign
He was wounded in action - by gunshots to his left side and hip/thigh - at Antietam on 17 September 1862.
The rest of the War
He died of his wounds on 17 October 1862, in a hospital, at Frederick, Md.
The MSHWR says
Private Morris Ward, Co. H, 63d New York Volunteers, aged 32 years, received two gunshot wounds at Antietam, Maryland, September 17, 1862. One ball entered the back between the eighth and ninth ribs, left side, half-way between the angle and the junction with the costal cartilage, and lodged; the other entered two inches posterior of anterior superior spinous process of the ilium of left side and lodged in the gluteal muscles. He was at once conveyed to the field hospital of the Second Corps, where water dressings were applied.
On September 30th, he was transferred to the hospital at Frederick, Maryland. Previous to admission, the patient did not complain of cough or pain in the chest.
On October 5th, a ball could be distinctly felt beneath the nipple, but as the patient was quite weak from profuse suppuration from the wound in the gluteal region, the removal of the ball by excision was deferred.
October 8th, burrowing of pus among the gluteal muscles and accumulation of gas. An incision was made an inch above the folds of the nates; but little evacuation of pus. Poultice ordered. On the 12th, another incision was made just below the crest of the ilium and a seton passed through the wound of entrance. The patient seemed much prostrated, but had no cough or expectoration. Tonics and stimulants administered.
On the night of the 13th, he expectorated a small quantity of blood, and, on the next day, complained of pain in the chest where the ball had lodged. On examining the chest, a tumor was found to extend from the left nipple downward and inward for two inches, and of the same dimensions in breadth. On applying the ear to the tumor, a sound was heard resembling the passage of air, with a small quantity of liquid, through a slight opening. Tumor tympanic on percussion; respiration but slightly embarrassed, but patient very restless.
The tumor continued to increase, and the patient failed rapidly, notwithstanding the free administration of stimulants; death occurred on the morning of October 17, 1862.
Necropsy: Rigor mortis well marked. Body considerably emaciated. On laying open the wound on the posterior portion of the chest, the ninth rib was found fractured at that point. On dissecting up the skin over the tumor, some extravasation of blood was found underneath. No opening where the ball could have entered the chest could be found, and it seemed probable that it had passed externally, glancing on the ninth rib, yet no external track was visible. The pericardium over the apex of the heart was adherent to the ribs. Recent pleuritic adhesions on both sides, and left lung adherent to ribs for a large space, where the ball was found underneath. Missile had ulcerated through the intercostal muscle into the lung and was found resting against the diaphragm at the bottom of a large abscess which contained air and pus. Pieces of clothing and bone were also discovered in the diaphragm. The pathological specimen, showing a wet preparation of a portion of the left lung adherent to sections of the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth ribs, is represented in the wood-cut (Fig. 235), and was contributed, with a history of the case, by Acting Assistant Surgeon Alfred North. (It must be understood that the ball entered posteriorly between the eighth and ninth ribs, on a level with the sixth rib anteriorly. The description of its course is not very clear. If it did not fracture the rib, whence came the bits of bone found imbedded in the diaphragm?).
After the War
He was originally buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick (as Morris Ward) but was reinterred in the new Antietam National Cemetery in about 1867.
References & notes
Service information from McLernon1 and the NY Adjutant General.2 His medical details and the illustration here from the Medical and Surgical History3. His name is also borne in the military records as Morris Ward. His burial from the cemetery History,4 as Morris Ward. His gravesite is on Findagrave, as Maurice Ward.
10/17/1862; Frederick, MD; burial in Antietam National Cemetery, Sharpsburg, MD
1 McLernon, Robert, Casualty List, 63rd New York Volunteer Infantry, Meagher's Irish Brigade, Antietam, Maryland; September 17, 1862, Springfield (Va): R. McLernon, 2001 [AotW citation 2439]
2 State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, For the Year 1901, Ser. No. 27, pg. 189 [AotW citation 25352]
3 Barnes, Joseph K., and US Army, Office of the Surgeon General, The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 6 books, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1870, Part I, Volume II. (1st Surgical volume), pg. 493 [AotW citation 14700]
4 Antietam National Cemetery, Board of Trustees, History of Antietam National Cemetery, Baltimore: John W. Woods, Steam Printer, 1869, pg. 119 [AotW citation 25351]