WASHINGTON, June 28, 1861.
SIR: I hereby certify that J. H. Ward, who was a commander in the U. S. Navy, while attached to the steamer Freeborn and holding rank above mentioned, departed this life on the 27th day of June, 1861, and that he died of a gunshot wound of the abdomen received while acting in the line of his duty, as held forth in the record of his case of which the following is a copy:
Commander Ward had been on shore with a party consisting of 34 seamen besides Lieutenant Chaplin, of the Pawnee, and Master’s Mate [John] Kellogg, of the Freeborn. He returned, however, soon after and remained on board until his death, which took place off Mathias Point about 6 p. m. He was struck by a musket ball from the enemy while sighting his forward gun. The ball entered at a point just above and a little to the right of the umbilicus and passed directly through the abdomen, escaping at a point opposite, about 2 inches to the right of the spinal column. He died from internal hemorrhage about an hour after being shot.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. MOORE,
[Acting] Assistant Surgeon, Steamer [Thomas] Freeborn.
Hon. GIDEON WELLES,
[Secretary of the Navy]
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. Series I, Vol. 4. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1896.