Edward Ferrero was a nationally reknowned choreographer, dance instructor and ballroom operator in New York City. He learned his technique from his Italian born father. He was retained as a part time ballroom dancing instructor at the United States Military Academy and in the process he became acquainted with many officers and cadets who became prominent leaders of the Civil War. He was the author of the 1859 book Art of Dancing. He was well acquainted with New York society through his work with the elite and wealthy of New York.
He had been a Lieutenant Colonel in the 11th New York Militia for six years. Ferrero paid to raise the 51st New York Infantry with his own funds. He was appointed its colonel. He was most well known for his role in the ill-fated execution of the assault at the Petersburg Crater 30 July 1864. He was less well known for his unit being in the van of the storming of the Rohrbach (Burnside) Bridge at Antietam on 17 September 1862 where his personal bravery won him promotion the Brigadier General of Volunteers. He led his Brigade with distinction at Vicksburg and commanding a division at Knoxville he was in command of the defense of Ft Sanders, where Longstreet was turned back on 29 November 1863. He served through the Appomattox Campaign and was brevetted a Major General on 2 December 1864.
Upon returning to to New York he did not reopen his dance academy but opened a ball-room in a leased building which became the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. His second best selling book, The History of Dancing is still in print today. Published by Kessinger LLC in paper and hard cover the 76 page book is considered a classic. Ferrero retired in 1889 as the foremost dance instructor in the United States.