Commander James Harmon Ward was part of a Union blockade of the Confederate Port Conway, while aboard the USS Thomas Freeborn. On June 27, 1861, during the Battle of Mathias Point, James H. Ward became the first Navy Officer die from the U.S. Civil War.
The World War 1 naval ship the USS Ward (DD-139) was named after Commander James Harmon Ward. In addition, Fort Ward, one of the 166 forts defending, Washington during the American Civil War, was named after Commander Ward.
Fort Ward, was named after Commander James Harmon Ward, whom became the first Union naval officer to die in the U.S. Civil War at the Battle of Mathias in King George County, Virginia. Fort Ward was constructed, within the Union occupied Alexandria County, Virginia, as the fifth largest fort protecting Washington D.C. during the course of the U.S. Civil War.
Fort Ward was one of the 163 forts that were part of the defense of Washington, D.C. from Confederate army attacks.
In present day the site of the fort has been turned into the Fort Ward Museum.