Ferdinand Van Derveer

Ferdinand Van Derveer was a lifelong resident of Butler County, Ohio, where he was born, in Middletown, on February 27, 1823. He was educated locally, studied law, and had begun practice when the Mexican War broke out. He served successively as first sergeant, first lieutenant, and captain of the 1st Ohio Volunteers and headed one of the storming columns in the capture of Monterrey. In the interval before the Civil War, Van Derveer resumed his law practice and also served as county sheriff. He became colonel of the 35th Ohio on September 24, 1861, and served continuously with this regiment until he was honorably mustered out of service on August 26, 1864. Meanwhile he participated in the siege of Corinth and the battles of Perryville and Murfreesboro, was in brigade command at Chickamauga, and was at the head of his command when it was among the first to scale the heights of Missionary Ridge. During the Atlanta campaign of 1864, Van Derveer's brigade of Baird's XIV Corps division was engaged in all the battles up to and including that of Peachtree Creek in July although Van Derveer himself was on sick leave after June 27. The following month he was mustered out at Chattanooga, along with his regiment. On October 4, 1864, he was reappointed in the army with the rank of brigadier general of volunteers, but did not rejoin the forces under W. T. Sherman. Instead, in January, 1865, he was assigned to command a brigade of Stanley's IV Corps in the vicinity of Huntsville, Alabama. He served in this position until an order dated June 7, 1865, reduced the corps to three divisions of two brigades each, whereupon he was rendered supernumerary and resigned. General Van Derveer then returned to his home in Hamilton, Ohio, and once again resumed his law practice. He was judge of the court of common pleas of Butler County for many years. He died in Hamilton on November 5, 1892, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.