Sunday, March 23, 2014

From An Old Albany Family

Union Brigadier General Henry Bell Van Rensselaer a New York State Representative and Congressman, died March 23rd 1864.

Henry Bell Van Rensselaer was born May 14th 1810 at the family manor in Albany, New York, the son of Stephen and Margaret (Schuyler) Van Rensselaer III.  He received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1831.  He served in the 5th United States Infantry until January 27th 1832, when he resigned his commission.  Van Rensselaer then settled near Ogdensburg, New York to be a gentleman farmer and serve as the military aide to New York State Governor William H Seward.  Running as a Whig, he was elected to Congress, serving from 1841 to 1843.

When the Civil War started Van Rensselaer rejoined the military, with the rank of Colonel, he was appointed to Chief of Staff for Union General Winfield Scott.  He served as the Union Inspector General from November 1861 until his death.  Van Rensselaer died March 23rd 1863 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He is buried in the Grace Episcopal Churchyard in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

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