A Civil War Biography

Kenner Garrard

Garrard was born 30 September 1827 in Bourbon County, Kentucky. He attended Harvard, then transferred to West Point graduating 8th in the class of 1851. He initially was assigned to the artillery but transferred to the cavalry. He had been a first lieutenant in the 2nd US Cavalry since 3 March 1855 and was promoted to captain on 27 February 1861. He was serving on the frontier in Texas when the secession crisis resulted in civil war.

When Texas seceded Garrard was taken prisoner by southern sympathizers in San Antonio on 12 April 1861. Some sources put the date of capture as 23 April 1861. Although immediately paroled Garrard could not actively campaign until exchanged. He spent the time before his 27 August 1862 exchange in the Commissary General's office and at West Point. He was a cavalry instructor and the commandant of cadets during his stay at military academy.

Once properly exchanged Garrard was made colonel of the 146th New York Infantry on 23 September 1862 and commanded the regiment at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. He succeeded to command of the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Division V Corps when the brigade commander, Stephen H. Weed, was killed defending Little Round Top at Gettysburg on 2 July 1863. Garrard was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on 23 July 1863 and commanded the 3rd brigade during the Rappahannock and Mine Run campaigns. He was commissioned major in the regular army on 2 November 1863.

Following a brief stint as Chief of the Cavalry Bureau in Washington DC in December 1863 and January 1864, Garrard was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland in command of the 2nd Cavalry Division. He commanded the division during the Atlanta campaign. He next was assigned to command the 2nd Division in the XVI Corps which saw action at Nashville for which he was brevetted major general of volunteers on 15 December 1864 and during the assault on Mobile Bay. Garrard was also brevetted both brigadier general and major general in the regular army on 13 March 1865. At the end of the war he served as military commander of Mobile, Alabama.

He resigned from the US Army on 9 November 1866. He settled in Cincinnati, Ohio and made a living in the real estate business. Garrard died 15 May 1879 in Cincinnati.

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