Brevet Brigadier-General Nathan Goff, Jr., U.S.V.
Brevet Brigadier-General Nathan Goff, Jr., son of Nathan and Nancy (Ingraham) Goff, was born in Warren, Rhode Island, August 5, 1827. His father was born in Warren in 1802; his mother was born in Glocester, Rhode Island, in 1803. In 1833 his parents removed from Warren to Bristol, Rhode Island, where their son Nathan received his education in the district school. At the age of seventeen he was apprenticed to the sail-making business with T. & B. T. Cranston, and two years later, on the retirement of both members of that firm, he, with George E. Cranston, succeeded to the business. In 1850 he engaged as an engraver with Smith, Deey & Eddy in Warren, in the manufacture of jewelry. In 1861 he was holding the position of brigadier-general in the Rhode Island militia, and soon after the firing of the rebels on Fort Sumter he tendered his services to the governor of the State to serve in any position assigned him for the maintenance of the Union. He immediately organized a company of volunteers in Bristol, which, with members from Warren, were called the Bristol County Company. As captain of this company, known as Company G, Second Regiment, Rhode Island Volunteers, he was mustered into the United States service June 6, 1861, for three years, and remained in the service for more than six years. He shared in the first Bull Run battle, July 21, 1861, and, becoming attached to the Army of the Potomac, participated in all its memorable engagements. July 24, 1862, he was promoted to be major of his regiment, and December 12, 1862, lieutenant-colonel. In December, 1863, by permission from the War Department, he appeared before General Casey's Board of Examination in Washington, and passed as lieutenant-colonel, " first class." He was immediately assigned to the Twenty-second Regiment U. S. Colored Troops, and ordered to Yorktown, Virginia. Afterwards his command became a part of the Army of the James.
In May, 1865, he was assigned to the command of the post of Wilmington,
North Carolina, and remained on duty in that State, the troops of his
command occupying the forts on the coast of North and South Carolina, he
being in temporary command of the District of Wilmington and Department of
North Carolina. In June, 1865, by recommendation of Major-General Charles
J. Paine and Brigadier-General John W. Ames, division and brigade
commanders, he was promoted by the President to be brigadier-general of
volunteers by brevet, "for long and faithful services and gallant conduct
in the field." He was detailed November 3, 1866, as president of a general
court-martial at Raleigh, North Carolina, and, though his regiment was
mustered out in February, 1867, he was retained in the service as
president of general court-martial till June 13, 1867, when he was
honorably discharged, being among the last volunteer officers mustered
out. Upon returning to Rhode Island he engaged in his former occupation at
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.
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