Noah H. Ferry was born on Mackinac Island, Michigan on August 30, 1831. The son of William, and Amanda, Ferry he was their fourth child. William Ferry was involved in lumber, shipping and other mercantile pursuits. He would move his family to Grand Haven, Michigan, south of Muskegon, when Noah was three. He would attend a school, run by his aunt, and would later graduate from a technical school, in Chicago – Bell’s Commercial College.
After graduating, with honors, he and his brother, Thomas would go into business together, laying out the village of Ferryville. The remainder of his life, in the private sector, would go towards honing his business skills. He would be known as fair, honest and loyal. These were all qualities that would serve him well, in his future military career.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Noah Ferry would be appointed captain of Company F, 5th Michigan Cavalry, in August 1862. Due to his organization, and leadership skills, he would be promoted major a short time later.
As his men would prepare, to go into a fight, it was always known where he would be found – in the front leading. It is said, that at the fight, at the East Cavalry Field, of Gettysburg, he said to his men, “Now boys, if any of you are unwilling to go forward, you may stay here.” His men, with a cheer, dismounted and advanced through the wheat field, all the while cheering their beloved major. Advancing through the field, they would engage Confederates commanded by CS Colonel John R. Chambliss. The 5th Michigan would force Chambliss’s cavaliers back towards the Rummel Farm. With US Brigadier General George Custer, having told Colonel Russell Alger, that his 5th Michigan had to holds its position, there was a great deal of bloodshed. As the fighting, went back and forth, Ferry would pick up a carbine, firing several shots and say to his men, “Rally boys! Rally for the fence!” At this time, a Confederate minie ball would crash into Major Noah Ferry’s skull, killing him instantly.
In writing Major Ferry’s father, Lieutenant Colonel Alleyne C. Litchfield would say, “He died as a soldier should die, doing his whole duty fearlessly.” Colonel Alger would state, “His death cast a deep gloom upon the entire brigade. He was a gallant soldier, an exemplary man, and his loss was a great blow.”
William Ferry, would travel to Gettysburg, to retrieve his fallen son. He would take the gallant Noah Ferry, back home, to forever rest in the soil of his home state.