Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GRIFFIN, Simon Goodell, soldier, born in Nelson, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, 9 August, 1824. He was a teacher for several years, and represented his native town in the legislature. He subsequently studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1860, and began practice in Concord. At the beginning of the civil war he was commissioned captain in the 2d regiment of New Hampshire volunteers, and was present at the first battle of Bull Run. In October, 1861, he was promoted lieutenant colonel, and transferred to the 6th New Hampshire regiment, and the command of the regiment devolved upon him. On 7 April, 1862, he commanded an expedition of 600 men, assisted by five gun-boats, to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, which resulted in the capture of prisoners and many stands of arms, and in the breaking up of a Confederate rendezvous at that place. He commanded his regiment at the battle of Camden, North Carolina, 19 April, and for its gallantry on this occasion was permitted to inscribe "Camden, 19 April, 1862," upon its colors. On 22 April he was commissioned colonel of the 6th regiment. He was in the second battle of Bull Run, at Chantilly, and at Antietam, where, with his regiment and the 2d Maryland, he charged the stone bridge and carried it in the face of a heavy fire. He was present at, Fredericksburg, his regiment losing one third its number, and on 20 May, 1863, he was assigned to the command of the 1st brigade, 2d division, 9th army corps. This brigade, early in June, went to assist General Grant in his operations against Vicksburg, and participated in its capture. He was with his command in the Mississippi campaign of General Sherman, and in the spring of 1864 was assigned to the 2d brigade, 2d division, and commanded it in the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania Court-House, and was commissioned a brigadier-general on General Grant's recommendation. On the night of 16 June General Griffin, in command of his own and General Curtin's brigade, attacked the enemy's intrenched lines in front of Petersburg, carrying their works and capturing 1,000 prisoners, with arms, artillery, and ammunition. On 2 April, 1865, he arranged and led the assault at "Fort Hell," and for gallant conduct was brevetted a major general, and afterward participated in the pursuit and capture of General Lee's army. He was mustered out in September, 1865, and declined a commission in the regular army. Subsequently General Griffin settled in Keene, New Hampshire, and served in the state legislature in 1866-'8, in the last two years being speaker of the house.
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