Ward, Artemas

Ward, Artemas (1727-1800) General: Ward graduated from Harvard College in 1748 and began a political career in provincial and local government. As a colonel of militia during the French and Indian War, he showed his administrative skill. An active anti-loyalist, he was named a general and commander-in-chief of Massachusetts forces. For the first few months of the conflict, Ward was the de facto leader of the army laying siege to Boston. Although the Congress chose George Washington over him to serve as overall commander of the Continental Army, Ward became the highest ranking major general. After the British evacuated Boston, Ward offered his resignation, but retained his position as head of the Eastern Department until 1777. After he retired from military life, Ward continued to be active in state and federal politics.