13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry USA Wiki

John Graham Dervan (1844 - August 21, 1886) served as a captain in Company K, 13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry.

Personal life

John Dervan was born in 1844 in Danvers, Massachusetts.

Civil War service

Dervan enlisted May 26, 1862 as a private in the Salem Cadets, Massachusetts Infantry (militia). He mustered out October 11, 1862 at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor. Dervan subsequently became an ordnance officer (or possibly a civilian clerk with the Ordnance Department) and was working at the Ordnance Department in Knoxville when offered a commission in the 13th Tennessee Cavalry.[1] He accepted the commission December 31, 1863 at Camp Nelson, Kentucky and was mustered in January 29, 1864 as a captain in Company K at Nashville for a period of three years.

He is listed as present for duty throughout his service. On May 19, 1865 he requested eight days leave to visit Nashville "pressing business of a private nature." The leave was approved, but the private nature of his business is a mystery.

On July 29, 1865 Dervan was requested to appear at the Office Ordnance Department in Knoxville to settle accounts there.[2] What accounts he needed to settle are not noted in the records.

Dervan mustered out August 25, 1865 in accordance to Paragraph 2, Special Order Number 49. When the regiment mustered out on September 5, 1865 at Knoxville, it was noted on the rolls that he had been paid through December 31, 1864.

According to the regimental history Dervan "was a bright, intelligent and agreeable officer and comrade, and had many friends in the Regiment. After the close of the war he returned to the East and we have learned nothing of his history since that time."[3]

Later life

After the war, Dervan is found in the 1872 and 1873 Boston Directories as a clerk in the Naval Officer's Department at the Custom House for Boston and Charlestown. By 1882 he was employed as a night inspector in the U.S. Customs Service of the Treasury Department at Boston, Massachusetts. He was a member of General Lander, G.A.R. Post #5, in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Dervan died August 21, 1886 of cirrhosis of the liver in Marlborough, New Hampshire and is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Marlborough. His headstone gives the incorrect rank of major.


  1. According to Scott & Angel, he was "part of Major G. W. Doughty's detachment that joined the Regiment at Camp Nelson, Ky."
  2. Dervan had been acting ordnance officer for the Governor's Guard Brigade there prior to his commission in the regiment.
  3. Scott & Angel, p. 309.

External links

Find A Grave memorial