Charles Girffin

Charles Griffin, major-general, was born in Licking county, Ohio, in 1826, and was graduated at the United States military academy in 1847. In the Mexican war he commanded a company under Gen. Patterson in the campaign from Vera Cruz to Puebla, and after the war served against the Navajo Indians, on general frontier service, and then as instructor in artillery practice at West Point, until 1861, having been promoted 1st lieutenant in 1849.

He commanded the "West Point Battery" in the first battle of Bull Run, was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers June 9, 1862, and served with McClellan's army, distinguishing himself for action at Gaine's mill; commanded the artillery at Malvern hill, where he supported his brigade against the assault of Gen. Magruder, and contributed largely to the success of the day.

He was ordered to support Pope at Manassas and after the battle was arrested on charge of refraining from taking part in the action and "spending the day in making ill-natured strictures upon the commanding general." He was tried and acquitted and was promoted to command a division, which he led at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and in all the engagements from the Wilderness to Five Forks.

He commanded the 5th army corps at Appomattox, and, by direction of Gen. Grant, received the arms and colors of the Army of Northern Virginia after the surrender. He was brevetted major-general of volunteers, Aug. 1, 1864; colonel in the regular army, Aug. 18, 1864, and brigadier-general and major-general U. S. A. May 13, 1865. He was promoted colonel of the 35th infantry, July 28, 1866, commanded the District of Maine in 1865-66, the Department of Texas with headquarters at Galveston, 1866-67, and after the removal of Gen. Sheridan, the Department of the Gulf. When ordered to transfer his headquarters to New Orleans from Galveston, as the yellow fever was epidemic in the latter city, he refused to obey, replying to the order that "to leave Galveston at such a time was like deserting one's post in time of battle." He died of yellow at Galveston, Tex., Sept. 15, 1867.

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Jul 13, 2005