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Civil War Soldiers - Vandever

Vandever, William, brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in Baltimore, Md., March 31, 1817. He received an academic education, studied law, moved to Illinois in 1839, and settled in Iowa in 1851. His industry and sterling qualities soon began to make an impression among the pioneers of those days, with the result that in 1859-61 he represented the Dubuque district in Congress as a Republican. After the battle of Bull Run Congressman Vandever promptly waited on Sec. Cameron and offered to recruit a regiment and a battery of artillery in Iowa for the defense of the Union, which offer was promptly accepted. Col. Vandever being authorized to proceed and have his regiment and artillery company ready for service as soon as possible. Relinquishing his seat in the house he returned home, organized his regiment under the title of the 9th Ia. infantry, and led it to the field with the battery known as the 3d Ia. battery. He accompanied Gen. Curtis in his southwestern campaign and commanded a brigade in the battle of Pea ridge. The day before this battle he and his men accomplished a remarkable march of 45 miles (having been sent away on reconnoitering duty) in order to reinforce the main body. When first recommended for a brigadier-general's commission he declined that honor, modestly intimating that he still lacked experience. However, he finally accepted the proffered honor after the battle of Arkansas Post, "for gallant and meritorious services." He participated in the Vicksburg and Atlanta campaigns under Gen. Sherman and was stationed at Kennesaw mountain previous to the battle of Allatoona. At this time he succeeded in signaling over the heads of the Confederates to the officer commanding at Allatoona, the celebrated message, "Sherman says. 'Hold on. I am coming.' " On March 19, 1865, he did gallant work at Bentonville, N. C., in repelling the sudden assault of Gen. Johnston on Sherman's left wing, for which he was brevetted a major- general of volunteers. After the war Gen. Vandever resumed the practice of law for a while and then, from 1873 until 1877, was a government Indian inspector. In 1886 he moved to California and settled in San Buenaventura, but was soon discovered in his retirement by the Republican party, elected to Congress the same year and reelected in 1888. Gen. Vandever died July 23, 1893.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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