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This biography is from HEROES OF ALBANY, by Rufus W. Clark, D. D.

Sergt. Joseph Cowan Vanderhoof

In Albany, Joseph Cowan Vanderhoof was born, July 25, 1843. His childhood was spent with his grand-parents in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, in the public schools of which he received the principal part of his education.

He returned to Albany when about thirteen years old, and attended school for a few months. He attended regularly on the ministrations of the Rev. Dr. Sprague, of the Second Presbyterian church.

Soon after his return to Albany he was apprenticed to the marble cutting business, at which he worked till the breaking out of the rebellion. In answer to the President's call for troops on the 19th of April, 1861, he joined Company A, Twenty-tifth Regiment as a private, and left with the regiment on the 21st of the same month. They remained in Washington till the 23d of May, when they were orerded to take possession of Arlington Heights. The regiment crossed the Long Bridge at midnight, and once on the soil of Virginia, Company A having the right of the line, were detailed to scour the woods, when it fell to the lot of private Vanderhoof to take what are believed to be the first prisoners captured in the war for the Union. These were two cavalrymen on foot, who were doubtless trying to escape the vigilance of the advance, as their horses were afterwards found tied in the woods. Nothing further of note occurred during his connection with the Twenty-fifth, with which he remained until the term of service expired, when they returned home and were mustered out of service.

He resumed work at his trade, but with a desire to continue his connection with military men, he joined Company D, Tenth Regiment, N. Y. S. M., where, by his diligence and attention to duty, he soon merited and received promotion to the rank of Sergeant, which rank he retained until his death.

On a subsequent call for troops, the Tenth offered their services, and were accepted on a nine months term of service, and were officially designated as the One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Regiment N. Y. S. V. They left December 16, 1862, their destination being Louisiana. During the short but eventful history of this regiment, Sergt. Cowan was ever at his post, discharging his duties with alacrity, and undergoing with unflinching zeal their toils, privations and exposures at Bonnet Carre, Baton Rouge and Port Hudson.

Fatigue and exposure, however, proved too much for him, and for some weeks before the regiment left, he was ill with typhoid fever. On the 20th of August, 1863, when the regiment embarked on their return, he was deemed sufficiently recovered to accompany them; but the seeming convalescence proved only transitory, for on the 26th of August he died, on the way up the Mississippi. His remains were interred at Cairo.

His mother, stricken by the blow which fell so heavily on her, for he was the only son of his mother, and she a widow, longed earnestly that his remains might sleep with kindred dust; and overcoming every obstacle, she went to Cairo, had the remains disinterred and brought to Albany, where they rest in the Albany Rural Cemetery.

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