All Biographies

You are here: Home > Brevet Brigadier-General Nathan Goff, Jr., U.S.V.          

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 February, 1864, he received from the citizens of Warren a present of a sword, belt, sash, and other equipments. At the battle in front of Petersburg, Virginia, June 15, 1864, he was severely wounded and taken to Chesapeake Hospital, Hampton, Virginia. In October, 1864, by recommendation of his brigade and division commanders, he was promoted to the rank of colonel, and assigned to the command of the Thirty-seventh Regiment U. S. Colored Troops. He joined his command November 10, 1864. Being detached from the Army of the James, he joined the expedition of General B. F. Butler against Fort Fisher, North Carolina, and also participated in the second expedition, under General A. H. Terry, and shared in the capture of the fort. He shared in all the engagements of the army through North Carolina until the surrender of General Johnston's army to General W. T. Sherman, at Raleigh, North Carolina.

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 Providence.

His talents, character, and public services won for him a very high rank among his fellow-citizens. He received, August 10, 1870, the appointment of deputy collector of customs at the port of Providence, a position which he held for more than twenty years. Politically he has been a Whig and a Republican. Religiously he is identified with the Baptist Church.

He married, November, 1849, Sarah S. Surgens, of Warren, Rhode Island, and has three children - Ella S., Walter I., and Mabel D. Mrs. Goff died October 13, 1888. He subsequently married Helen M. Surgens, of Boston, Massachusetts.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

Related Links:




Access Genealogy
One of the largest websites online providing free genealogy. A must see for Native American research!

Find Your Ancestors at SurnameWeb
The oldest, most complete listings of surnames and related websites online.

Free Family Tree
Family Tree Guide is a quick, simple and free way for you to share your family history. Within minutes, you can have a dynamically driven website that creatively portrays your family tree.

Free Genealogy Charts
These free genealogy charts will enable you to begin development of a notebook in which you can track your ancestry as you research it.

Copyright, 2005-2010 by Webified Development all rights reserved.