Age: 61, credited to New Haven, VT
Unit(s): 12th IA INF
Service: Mexican War, Co. C, 14th US INF; enl, Pennytown, IA, 10/19/61, Co. K, 12th IA INF, wdd, Shiloh, 4/6/62, d/wds 5/26/62
See Legend for expansion of abbreviationsVITALS
Birth: 09/28/1800, New Haven, VT
Burial: Andrew Cemetery, Andrew, IA
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Steve Hanken
Findagrave Memorial #: 12811356
Alias?: None noted
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)
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Andrew Cemetery, Andrew, IA"
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Sylvester Griffin: --- Residence near Andrew, Jackson county, Iowa. An eccentric character, generally known as "Buck" Griffin. His sons, Ira and Edwin, had enlisted in March, 1847, at Galena, for the First United States Infantry, as already noted. In November of that year, although past the age for required military service, he started alone, took passage on a steamboat at Bellevue, Iowa, for St. Louis, to enroll himself as a Mexican War soldier, probably desiring to join his sons in the First Infantry. Not finding any satisfactory opportunity in St. Louis, he continued his journey to New Orleans, and was there enrolled on November 27, 1847, as a recruit for Captain C. M. Haile's Company (C), Fourteenth United States Infantry, a Louisiana company. * He was honorably discharged from the service July 28, 1848.
Mr. Griffin was of Welsh descent, born in Vermont in 1800, but removed with his parents to Franklin county, New York, in 1810. In 1831 he removed to Seneca county, Ohio, and in June, 1841, came to Jackson county, Iowa, locating on a farm in Perry township. After his return from Mexico he resumed farming, but in 1851 he was smitten with the gold fever, and with characteristic independence, he shouldered his army knapsack and started on foot to cross the plains to California.
He stopped for a time en route at Salt Lake City and worked for Brigham Young. In the Golden State he engaged in ranching for several months near Stockton, remained in California a year and then returned to his Iowa farm by way of Panama and New York.
In the early days of 1861, when filled with indignation that the country's flag had been insulted, Iowa men began to volunteer to maintain the honor of that flag. Buck Griffin, although sixty-one years old, resolved to again offer himself as a soldier for the Union. A company was being raised in Jackson county for the Twelfth Infantry, the regiment over which was to be placed one of her own citizens, the West Point graduate, Colonel Joseph Jackson Woods. Griffin did not choose to present himself at that home company where his age was well known, but betook himself to Dubuque, and offered to enroll in Company K of the same regiment. The question being raised as to his being of acceptable age, he indignantly proposed to refer the matter to his father Ashley Griffin, of La Motte. The recruiting officer did not know that Ashley Griffin was in fact his son, and accepted the enrollment, but the official records of Company K, Twelfth Iowa Infantry, show a blank in the place of the age of Sylvester Griffin.
Tenacious of life, as his hardy career would lead us to expect, he stood transportation to the hospital at Jefferson Barracks, but there succumbed on the 26th of May, and his remains were sent home for interment in the cemetery at Andrew, one of the first martyrs of Jackson county, and a veteran, in every sense, of two wars.
James W. Ellis, History of Jackson County IOWA, (B. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910) i:138-139.