Orris Sanford Ferry

Orris Sanford Ferry, son of a prosperous hat manufacturer, was born in Bethel, Connecticut, August 15, 1823. He was graduated from Yale in 1844, where he had distinguished himself as an orator and as editor of the Yale Literary Magazine. In 1846 he was admitted to the bar and began practice in Norwalk. His public service included seven years as probate judge, two years as state attorney for Fairfield County, and two terms as a member of the Connecticut senate. After a defeat in 1856, he was elected as a Republican to Congress in 1858 but lost the election to a Democrat in 1860. When the Civil War began, Ferry was commissioned colonel of the 5th Connecticut immediately after the battle of First Manassas in July, 1861. He was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on March 17, 1862, and was routinely brevetted major general on May 23, 1865. Meanwhile, he took part in the Shenandoah Valley campaign as commander of a brigade under the unfortunate James Shields and later commanded a brigade of Reyes's IV Corps on the Peninsula. His final war service was with the X Corps of Benjamin F. Butler's Army of the James. In 1866, General Ferry was elected by the Connecticut legislature to the U. S. Senate, the choice probably resulting from a deadlock between supporters of the two leading candidates. Ferry, who had been regarded as a staunch Radical upon the policies of amnesty, Reconstruction, and like issues, came out strongly for a policy of moderation and conciliation toward ex-Confederates. Nevertheless, he was whipped into line to vote for the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson. In 1872 he was reelected by a coalition of Democrats and Liberal Republicans but died in office from the results of a "progressive spinal disease" on November 21, 1875. He was buried in Nor-walk Cemetery.

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