Ward, Harry Merrill 1929-
Ward, Harry Merrill 1929-
Born July 30, 1929, in Lafayette, IN; son of Hiley L. and Agnes Fuller Ward. Education: William Jewell College, B.A., 1951; Columbia University, M.A., 1954, Ph.D., 1960.
Office—Department of History, P.O. Box 155, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA 23173.
Academic. New York City Department of Welfare, New York, NY, social investigator, 1958-59; Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY, assistant professor of history, 1959-61; Morehead State College (now University), Morehead, KY, assistant professor, 1961-63, associate professor of history, 1963-65; University of Richmond, Richmond, VA, associate professor, 1965-78, professor, 1978-93, William Binford Vest Professor of History, 1993-99, professor emeritus, 1999—, chairperson of University College history department, 1970-74. Visiting associate professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 1967-68; committee member on American history college level examinations, Educational Testing Service, 1969; member of the Richmond Independence Bicentennial Commission, 1972-80; Pilgrim Society fellow; consultant to U.S. Bicentennial Media Corp. Military service: U.S. Marine Corps., 1951-53; became sergeant.
American Historical Association, Virginia Historical Society, Southern Historical Association, Organization of American Historians.
Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award, 1990, for Major General Adam Stephen and the Cause of American Liberty.
The United Colonies of New England, 1643-90, Vantage (New York, NY), 1961.
The Department of War, 1781-1795, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1962.
(Contributor) The Colonial Experience, edited by H.T. Colbourn, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1966.
Unite or Die: Intercolony Relations, 1690-1763, Kennikat (Port Washington, NY), 1971.
(Contributor) Perspectives on Early American History, edited by G.A. Billias and A.T. Vaughan, Harper (New York, NY), 1973.
Statism in Plymouth Colony, Kennikat Press (Port Washington, NY), 1973.
(With Harold E. Greer, Jr.) Richmond during the Revolution, 1775-1783, University Press of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), 1977.
Richmond: An Illustrated History, Windsor Publications (Northridge, CA), 1985.
Major General Adam Stephen and the Cause of American Liberty, University Press of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), 1989.
The American Revolution: Nationhood Achieved, 1763-1788, 1994, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1995.
General William Maxwell and the New Jersey Continentals, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1997.
The War for Independence and the Transformation of American Society, UCL Press (London, England), 1999.
Between the Lines: Banditti of the American Revolution, Praeger (Westport, CT), 2002.
George Washington's Enforcers: Policing the Continental Army, Southern Illinois University Press (Carbondale, IL), 2006.
Also author of Charles Scott and the "Spirit of '76," 1988, and Colonial America, 1607-1763, 1990.
Harry Merrill Ward is an American academic and historian. Ward had already begun working as an assistant professor of history at Kentucky's Georgetown College before completing a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1960. Ward started lecturing at the University of Richmond in 1965 and was named the William Binford Vest Professor of History in 1993, a position he held until becoming professor emeritus in 1999. During his tenure, Ward authored numerous books on American history, starting with the publication of The United Colonies of New England, 1643-90 in 1961.
Ward first published The American Revolution: Nationhood Achieved, 1763-1788 in 1994. The book examines this crucial period in American history through the Revolution and into the first decade of nationhood.
Dan M. Hockman, reviewing the book in the Historian, commented that "while referencing a number of the major primary sources, Ward is more at home in surveying, synthesizing, and intertwining much of the remote and recent literature on this era." Hockman referred to the book as "a most provocative and informative volume," adding that "the style is trenchant, yet rich in detail and analysis."
Ward published Between the Lines: Banditti of the American Revolution in 2002. Ward shows the lesser-known events where soldiers on both sides of the American Revolution went beyond the acceptable behaviors for soldiers by pillaging. Ward also details how civilians engaged in a form of civil war during this period.
Niel L. York, reviewing the book in the Historian, observed that "Ward did not turn up any new cache of papers; that was not his purpose." York further stated: "This reviewer's guess is that even if the book were issued as a paperback, it would have limited appeal as a supplementary text. Those interested in Revolutionary era raiding will probably in turn raid this book for colorful anecdotes." Martha Condray Searcy, writing in the Journal of Southern History, commented that "the colorful nature of the material would undoubtedly make this work appealing to many younger readers." Searcy warned, however, that the book would be inappropriate for undergraduate students "because of its anti-British bias." Searcy suggested, though, that Between the Lines "may well stimulate more intensive studies of how extraordinary circumstances affect heretofore ordinary people in a particular time and place."
In 2006, Ward published George Washington's Enforcers: Policing the Continental Army. The book looks into the disciplinary actions the Continental Army took toward its soldiers and how the army's focus was maintained throughout the war.
Mark Edward Lender, reviewing this work in the Journal of Southern History, noted that "Ward's study is grounded in impeccable scholarship and a mastery of the secondary literature." Lender concluded that "Ward has written a fine book, and while one hesitates to label any history definitive, George Washington's Enforcers certainly will stand for some time as the final word on this important but often overlooked subject." Nancy L. Rhoden, writing in the Historian, mentioned that the "book provides a valuable contribution to our understanding of how the commander-in-chief and his officers maintained even partial control over soldiers." Rhoden pointed out an array of secondary topics Ward brings up in the book, explaining that "these are all intriguing, suggestive arguments, even if the book's chief significance still lies with its nuanced descriptions of the activities and responsibilities of guardsmen and other duty personnel." Charles P. Neimeyer, reviewing the study in History: Review of New Books, claimed that Ward was readily familiar with the workings of the Continental Army and that the text utilizes "excellent first-person accounts of what it was like to be in the ranks," adding that "his knowledge of eighteenth-century military justice is unparalleled." Neimeyer concluded by calling the book "a very valuable contribution to scholarship on the Continental army."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, April, 1991, Ira D. Gruber, review of Major General Adam Stephen and the Cause of American Liberty, p. 599.
Choice, January, 2000, S.E. Siry, review of The War for Independence and the Transformation of American Society, p. 999; March, 2007, M.D. Bergmann, review of George Washington's Enforcers: Policing the Continental Army, p. 1231.
Historian, March 22, 1996, Dan M. Hockman, review of The American Revolution: Nationhood Achieved, 1763-1788, p. 658; September 22, 2004, Niel L. York, review of Between the Lines: Banditti of the American Revolution, p. 599; December 22, 2007, Nancy L. Rhoden, review of George Washington's Enforcers, p. 799.
History: Review of New Books, June 22, 2006, Charles P. Neimeyer, review of George Washington's Enforcers, p. 120.
Journal of American History, June, 1989, Emory G. Evans, review of Charles Scott and the "Spirit of '76," p. 244; December, 1990, John Ferling, review of Major General Adam Stephen and the Cause of American Liberty, p. 997; December, 2006, Gregory T. Knouff, review of George Washington's Enforcers, p. 844.
Journal of Southern History, February 1, 2006, Martha Condray Searcy, review of Between the Lines, p. 162; November 1, 2007, Mark Edward Lender, review of George Washington's Enforcers, p. 879.
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, winter, 2007, Edward G. Lengel, review of George Washington's Enforcers, p. 132.