William Ward Duffield

Brigadier General, United States Army

By Monie Matthews

William Ward Duffield was born at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1824, the son of

Reverend George Duffield & Isabella Bethubne Duffield. He married Annie Louise Ladue

in 1854, and their children were Will Ward Duffield, 1858-1939, and Louise Angel

Duffield, 1855-1941. William was educated at Columbia University, where he graduated,

in 1843, with a degree in Engineering.

Duffield fought in the Mexican War with a Tennessee regiment. He went to California as a

paymaster after the war and qualified as a founding member in the Society of California


When the Civil War broke out, he recruited a unit and commanded the 3rd Michigan

Infantry Regiment. He resigned before they left the state and then commanded the 9th

Michigan Infantry Regiment, in October, 1861, as a Colonel.

Colonel Duffield was recognized as a just man and was appointed to the Military Board of

Review, in January 1862. He wrote the "School of the Brigade and the Evolution of the

Line", in 1862. He was Military Commander of the State of Kentucky, in May & June,

1862, and promoted to Brigadier General. He was wounded and captured at the battle of

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in June, 1862. General Duffield was discharged after a lengthy


Following the Civil War, William managed coal mines in Pennsylvania, Michigan and

Kentucky for several years and also surveyed for railroads. I n 1894, he was appointed as

head of the Coastal & Geodetic Survey in Washington, D.C. He left office when William

McKinley was elected President and lived in Washington, D. C. until his death.

Duffield died, in June, 1907, and was buried in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Fort Duffield Heritage Committee, West Point, Kentucky, 502-922-4222, FortDuffield@gmail.com