September 21, 1827|
Bourbon County, Kentucky
|Died||May 15, 1879
|Place of burial||Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Service/branch||United States Army
|Years of service||1851–1866|
|Rank||Brevet Major General|
|Commands held||Commandant of Cadets
146th New York Volunteer Infantry
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
Kenner Garrard (September 21, 1827 – May 15, 1879) was a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. A member of one of Ohio's most prominent military families, he performed well at the Battle of Gettysburg, and then led a cavalry division in the army of Major General William T. Sherman during the Atlanta Campaign. He developed a reputation for personal bravery and was cited for gallantry at the Battle of Nashville as an infantry division commander.
Early life and career
Garrard was born at his paternal grandfather's home in Bourbon County, Kentucky, while his mother was visiting there. His grandfather, James Garrard, was the second Governor of Kentucky. He was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and received a private education. He was the brother of fellow future Civil War generals Jeptha Garrard and Israel Garrard. A first cousin, Theophilus T. Garrard, also became a Union general.
Kenner Garrard briefly attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but withdrew in his sophomore year after accepting an appointment to the United States Military Academy. He graduated eighth in the Class of 1851 and was appointed a brevet second lieutenant in the 4th U.S. Artillery. He soon transferred to the 1st U.S. Dragoons.
In 1855, Garrard was transferred to the 2nd U.S. Cavalry as an adjutant to Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston and Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee, both future generals in the Confederate States Army. He was stationed in a variety of posts in the Southwest frontier, including in the New Mexico Territory.
When the Civil War erupted in 1861, Garrard, by then a captain, was on duty in an outpost in Texas. As a loyal Unionist, he was imprisoned by Confederate authorities following the surrender of U.S. troops by Maj. Gen. David E. Twiggs. He was allowed to travel back to the North. He made his way to Washington, D.C., bringing with him $20,000 of Federal funds he had secreted from Texas, returning the money to the U.S. Treasury. In December 1861, he was appointed as Commandant of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.
After being formally exchanged on August 27, 1862, Garrard was appointed colonel of the 146th New York Infantry in the Army of the Potomac and took part in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, where he succeeded Brig. Gen. Stephen H. Weed (who was killed on Little Round Top) in the command of the 3rd Brigade of Maj. Gen. George Sykes's division. In December 1863 he was nominated for promotion to brigadier general with an effective date of July 23, 1863, commemorating the end of the pursuit of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
He was appointed as the major of the 3rd U.S. Cavalry in the regular army in November 1863, while continuing to hold the rank of brigadier general in the volunteer army. In December 1863, he was made Chief of the Cavalry Bureau in Washington, but was the next month, at his own request, relieved from that duty to take command of the 2nd Division of Cavalry in the Army of the Cumberland, and transferred to the Western Theater.
Garrard took part in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign as a cavalry division commander, but failed to impress his superiors. Returning to the infantry, he participated in the Battle of Nashville, where he and his division performed well. Army commander Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas cited Garrard for gallant conduct at Nashville. As a result, he was appointed a brevet major general of volunteers and brevet brigadier general in the regular army for his battlefield performance. He also received the brevet rank of major general in the regular army as of March 13, 1865, as part of the mass brevet appointments at the end of the war. He ended the war in Alabama and was instrumental in the capture of Montgomery.
Garrard remained in the regular army after the war ended as commander of the District of Mobile, but resigned on November 9, 1866. He returned to Cincinnati where he worked as a real estate broker. He devoted the rest of his life to civic affairs and historical studies. He served as Director of the Cincinnati Music Festival for several years. He never married.
- Eicher, p. 721.
- Eicher, p. 250.
- Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.