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Griswold, Edward Farwell


Age: 21, credited to St. Johnsbury, VT
Unit(s): 11th VT INF
Service: enl 7/31/62, m/i 9/1/62, CPL, Co. A, 11th VT INF, pr SGT 9/2/62, comn 1LT, Co. L, 7/11/63 (7/17/63), pow, Weldon Railroad, 6/23/64, escaped 7/1/64, recaptured, 7/18/64, prld 9/26/64, pr CPT, Co. F, 5/23/65 (6/2/65), m/o 6/24/65

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 03/10/1841, New Ipswich, NH
Death: 04/05/1926

Burial: Mount Pleasant Cemetery, St. Johnsbury, VT
Marker/Plot: 461
Gravestone photographer: Carolyn Adams
Findagrave Memorial #: 18480080


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 3/23/1907, VT
Portrait?: Gibson Collection, Charles Collection, Italo Collection, Guber Collection off-site, VHS Collections
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)

Remarks: None

Webmaster's Note: The 11th Vermont Infantry was also known as the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery; the names were used interchangably for most of its career


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Mount Pleasant Cemetery, St. Johnsbury, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.


John Gibson Collection


VHS - Reunion Society Collection

Photo Photo

VHS - Portrait Files (FPO)


Ed Italo Collection

Edward F. Griswold

Born in New Ipswich, NH. Son of Franklin Griswold, for many years a resident of St. Johnsbury East. Enlisted in Company A, 11th Regiment, at the age of twenty-one years, July 31, 1862. Mustered into United States service September 1, 1862. Promoted Corporal September 1, 1862. Promoted Sergeant September 2, 1862. Promoted 1st Lieutenant company L, July 11, 1863. Promoted Captain of Company F, May 23, 1865. Mustered out of service June 24, 1865.
Was on recruiting service in Vermont from April 21, 1863, to November 11, then rejoined the Regiment at Fort Slocum, DC. Post Adjutant at Fort Lincoln during the winter of 1863, and until the 11th Regiment left for the front, May 12, 1864. Participated in the actions at Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Weldon Railroad. Taken prisoner at last named place June 23, 1864, confined in Libby prison till June 29, then removed with others towards Georgia. Arriving at Lynchburg, Va., it was found that the railroad track had been destroyed, and the prisoners must march to Danville, a distance of eighty miles. Rations were issued for four days -- twenty hardtack and about one pound of pork -- to each man. Reaching Marysville, on Staunton river, and after crossing the bridge spanning the stream, the prisoners under charge of rebel guards, were deployed in a field adjacent to the stream. The bank of the river was lined with bushes a rod or more wide along the bank.
Lieutenant Griswold, Captain Safford of Company I, and Lieutenant Fleury of Company K, with tin cups in hand, made for the river, with a preconcerted plan, if not discovered by the guard, to escape. They found they were not pursued, and proceeding down stream where they could cross without exposure, they forded it. This was July 1st. Secreted in the day time, and traveling by night, the three reached Millbro' early in the morning of July 17. In passing through the town they were discovered by the rebel Provost guard, and pursued by them about a mile, but by running, succeeded, though fired upon, in making their escape. Here the party became separated. Lieutenant Griswold reached Huntersville in the northeastern section of Virginia, and his companions the town of Beverly, within the Union lines, some four days later. Hungry and weary, Lieutenant Griswold entered a farm house on the outskirts of the place -- understanding from the negroes that many of the people here were friends of the Union. He was soon surprised by the entrance of two rebel guards. He was a prisoner again. He was taken to Staunton, confined for three days in "Castle Rough," then sent forward by rail to Richmond, which place he reached the 26th of July. Detained there until September 24, he was paroled, in company with a party of sick and wounded Union prisoners, and proceeded north. Remaining in hospital at Annapolis, Md., until exchanged December 18, 1864, when he was ordered to Alexandria, Va., to serve on court martial. He continued in this duty until June 3, 1865, when he was ordered to join his Regiment at Bailey's Cross Roads. Promoted Captain of Company F, and assigned to command of Company K, and remained with same until the Regiment was mustered out of service at Burlington, this State, which was, according to Adjutant General's Report, August 25, 1865.

Albert G. Chadwick, compiler, Soldiers Record of the Town of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-5,(C. M. Stone & Co., St. Johnsbury, VT., 1883), pp. 71-72


Retired Business Man Held Unique Place In Life of Community

In the death yesterday afternoon in East St. Johnsbury of Capt. Edward F. Griswold, there passed one of the best loved and best known residents of this section. Large of heart and of mind, capable of inspiring and retaining the warmest friendships, sympathetic to a fault, Capt. Griswold was able to render more service to his fellows than falls to the lot of most men. His last years were spent in the home of his sister-in-law, Mrs. Flora Griswold, the widow of his brother, Henry, in East St. Johnsbury. There amid old surroundings and in the quiet which he loved as age advanced and with the ministrations of loved ones, the last days were happily passed in spite of suffering. A severe heart trouble was the cause of death, a trouble with which he had suffered the past year.

The funeral will be held tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock at the Congregational church in East St. Johnsbury. The Rev. E. E. Grant, a long time friend of Capt. Griswold, will officiate, assisted by the pastor of the church, the Rev. Mr. French. Burial will be in the family lot in Mt. Pleasant cemetery beside his wife who died many years ago.

Edward F. Griswold was one of the five children of Franklin and Caroline Wells Griswold and born in New Ipswich, N. H., March 10, 1841. In 1850 the family moved to St. Johnsbury Center and 10 years later to East St. Johnsbury. The son, Edward, received his education in the common schools, and at the age of 18 went to Boston and entered the employ of Richard Torrey and Company, wholesale grocers.

On the breaking out of the Civil war, two years later, he returned to St. Johnsbury for enlistment, but being a minor and his parents unwilling to sign the enlistment contract, he entered the employ of Joel Fletcher, dealer in flour and grain at the old depot store. In July, 1862, having attained his majority, the young man enlisted in Company A, 11th regiment, Vermont Volunteers. On the regiment being transferred to a heavy artillery and assigned to the fortifications around Washington, D. C., he was sent with others on detached service for several months in recruiting the regiment to its full complement of 1800 men.

In May, 1864, the regiment was ordered to the front and joined the old Vermont brigade at Spotsylvania court house, and participated in that engagement, May 18. During the campaign of 1864, young Griswold was taken prisoner on the Weldon railroad, June 23, and was confined in Libby prison. While being transferred to a southern prison he and two others escaped. That was on the night of July 1. On the night of July 16, of the same month, while passing through the town of Millboro, they were seen and fired upon by a Confederate guard stationed there. The three young soldiers had become separated in the meantime and Lt. Griswold, unable to find his companions, continued on alone over the Allegheny mountains to Huntersville, West, Va., where he was re-captured by a rebel guard, July 19, while at a farmhouse seeking food. He was returned to Libby prison from which place he was paroled Sept. 23, 1864, and sent to parole camp at Annapolis.

In November of the same year, Lt. Griswold with several other officers, was sent to Alexandria, Va., to serve on court martial duty, and he remained there until the close of the war. Rejoining his regiment at Bailey's Cross Roads, he was mustered out at Burlington, and four days later, took up his old position as bookkeeper in the office of Joel Fletcher.

During the year following, Capt. Griswold became a member of the firm of H. E. Fletcher and Company, later of Griswold, Pearl and Company and Griswold and Mackinnon. In the fall of 1889, Capt. Griswold gave up active connection with his firm then Griswold and MacKinnon and for four years following traveled extensively in the United States and foreign countries, traveling around the world during 15 months of 1892-1893.

At the time of the installation of St. Johnsbury's fire alarm system, Capt. Griswold was chief of the fire department, and located and placed the call numbers of the several alarm boxes. He also served as village trustee for two years and at the last village meeting before retiring from office, recommended and obtained an appropriation for $5000 for the purchase of a steam crushing outfit for use in macadamizing the village streets.

In 1878 Capt. Griswold married Miss Ellen F. Sargent, a beautiful contralto singer. She died following childbirth May 19, 1880 and with her baby is buried in Mt. Pleasant cemetery. The death of his young wife was a sorrow from which Capt. Griswold never recovered. He loved children and young people and was constantly seeking out some worthy one to help. In his own immediate family, he was an indulgent uncle and brother-in-law, and was devotedly loved by the little circle of relatives. Mrs. Griswold's beautiful voice had often been heard in St. Andrew's Episcopal church of which she was a member, and the pipe organ is a memorial to her, given by her husband. It was 10 years ago this month that the failure of Griswold and MacKinnon occurred with the subsequent loss of Capt, Griswold's large means. Soon after that, broken in fortune and with advancing blindness, he went to East St., Johnsbury to make his home.

Capt. Griswold was a member of Chamberlin Post, Grand Army, and his comrades love to tell of his generosity to the rebels and his sympathy for them. When pension were established, he refused to accept his, declaring that he had an abundance and that the government needed it more than he. At 70 when he was eligible to the old age pension, he accepted it and gave it to Lee Camp Soldiers' Home, West Virginia, for the benefit of the "Johnnies." The grateful letters from them were a source of much satisfaction to him.

Capt. Griswold was a member of the North Congregational Church and of the local Masonic bodies.

On his 85th birthday last month, four of Capt. Griswold's most intimate friends, George Caldbeck, V. E. Lurehin, James Cosgrove and C. C. Lynch, spent the evening with him, and the sick man referred many times since to the happy reminiscences and the pleasure they gave him.

Besides his sister-in-law, Mrs. Flora Griswold and Mrs. Charles Griswold of Lancaster, N. H., Capt. Griswold is survived by three nieces and one nephew, Mrs. Mark Hovey of St. Johnsbury, Miss Carrie Griswold, a teacher in Montpelier, now in Italy, Mrs. Annie Hillard of Washington, D. C., and Russell Griswold of Lyndonville. He was especially interested in, too, his grandnephew, Franklin Hovey, a student at Harvard. These with friends that are legion, friends in all walks of life, who were helped in difficulties, encouraged along hard roads, and cheered by the splendid optimistic spirit of one who understood, and who was ever ready to give the help needed, are better and happier because Edward F. Griswold lived among them.

Source: The Caledonian-Record, April 6, 1925.
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.