Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GRIFFIN, Charles, soldier, born in Licking County, Ohio, in 1826; died in Galveston, Texas, 15 September, 1867. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1847, was assigned to the 2d artillery, and was soon after ordered to Mexico, and commanded a company under General Patterson in the campaign from Vera Cruz to Puebla. In 1849 he was promoted to 1st lieutenant, and served in New Mexico against Navajo Indians until 1854. After other frontier service he was instructor of artillery at West Point in 1859-'61. In command of the "West Point battery " he fought at Bull Run, and on 9 June, 1862, was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, and took part in the Peninsular campaign, winning distinction at the battle of Gaines's Mill. At Malvern Hill, General Griffin, in command of the artillery, supported his brigade against the assault of General Magruder, drove back the enemy, and contributed signally to the success of the day. He was present at the second battle of Bull Run, and was charged by Pope in his report with refraining from taking part in the action, while he "spent the day in making ill-natured strictures upon the commanding general." General Griffin was arrested for trial on this charge, but was soon released, having been promoted to the command of a division, he took part in the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg, and in Hooker's campaign. On 1 August, 1864, he was brevetted major general of volunteers, and on 18 August he received the brevet of colonel in the regular army. He was present at Gettysburg, and was conspicuous in all the engagements from the Wilderness to Five Forks. As commander of the 5th corps, directed by General Grant, he received the arms and colors of the Army of northern Virginia, after the surrender at Appomattox Court-House. On 13 May, 1865, General Griffin was brevetted brigadier-and major general in the regular army, and on 10 August, 1865, was assigned to the command of the district of Maine, with headquarters at Portland. On 28 July, 1866, he was made colonel of the 35th infantry, and in 1867 commanded the Department of Texas, with headquarters at Galveston. On 5 September, 1867, while the yellow fever was raging at Galveston, he was assigned to the temporary command of the 5th military district on the removal of General Sheridan, and ordered to make his headquarters at New Orleans. He replied that "to leave Galveston at such a time was like deserting one's post in time of battle." He remained and fell a victim to the fever.
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