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14th., Rhode Island Heavy Artillery ( Colored ).
Captain Henry Simon was a descendant of a noble family of Germany, bearing the name of Rinscoff. His father, Pierre Simon Rinscoff, emigrated from Frankfort-on-the-Main to France, where he dropped this patronymic, and retained only the christian and middle name, by which he was thenceforth known. The subject of our sketch, son of Pierre and Emily Simon, was born in Bordeaux, France, in the year 1S12. When he was about three years of age his father emigrated with his family to the United States, and settled in New York City. Henry Simon attended the public schools of that city in his youth. After leaving school he entered a book-store, but subsequently learned the jeweler's trade. After completing his term of service, he engaged in business on his own account, and obtained considerable celebrity for the manufacture of "curb chain," in which he was particularly skilled. In 1845 he went to Providence, and for several years was associated with Mr. James E. Budlong in the manufacture of jewelry. This connection was subsequently dissolved, and he continued in the same business.
Mr. Simon early interested himself in military affairs, and while in New York City joined the Light Guard, a celebrated military organization of that city, and thus was formed a natural taste for military life. At the outbreak of the Rebellion he manifested â– patriotic desire to the Union cause, and when the Fourth Rhode island infantry was ized, on Oct. 2, 1S61, he was commissioned captain of Company C of that regiment, and accompanied General Burnside in his North Carolina expedition, lie shared with his regiment in the perils and discomforta of the voyage to Hatteras. The short allowance of water, inferior quality of rations, and the offensive atmosphere of closely packed quarte shipboard, were themes of mirthful description, while the sterneities of battles at Roanoke island, New Berne, and the siege of Macon, called out the finer qualities of a soldierly spirit. Captain Simon participated in all the varied experiences of the regiment, until Aug. 11,1862, when he resigned and returned to Rhode Island.
In the early formation of the Fourteenth he took an active interest and was appointed captain of Company B, Sept. 13, 1863. His company was attached to the First Battalion of the Fourteenth. He proceeded with it to New Orleans, and from thence to Fort Esperanza, Texas. This battalion remained here until it was ordered to Camp Parapet, La., and in July by direction of Gen. T. W. Sherman proceeded to Fort Jackson and St. Philip, on the Mississippi, which forts the battalion soned for several months.
We quote from Bartlett's Memoirs of Rhode Island Officers: A sunstroke, from which he never entirely recovered, was followed by an attack of chills and fever, which, with his ordinary duties, ami the anxiety induced by the sickness of more than forty of his men. paved the way for the utter prostration of his system, and ultimate death. Describing his situation at that time, he says:'I would far rather Inplaced in the front, liable at any moment to be engaged with the enemy, than in this. It is nothing, in comparison, to fall in the field, where at least one has an honorable death. Here, his eldest son, a youth of fifteen years, to whom he was devotedly attached, sickened of malignant typhoid and died September 6th. The loss of rest in constantly taking care of him, and the mental depression caused by the bereavement, together with anxious thought for his family, which occupied his mind to his latest hour, probably hastened the fatal termination of disease, that under brighter skies, might have been averted. Soon after the death of his son, Captain Simon was seized with the same malignant dl He was removed to Saint James Hospital, in New Orleans, where, Oct. 6, 1864, at the age of fifty-two years, he yielded up his mortal life.
"Captain Simon was a man of courteous manners, cherished a high sense of honor, and, as an officer, an excellent disciplinarian possibilities of the battle-field were ever present to his mind, and a filial trust in an all-gracious Providence disciplined him to contemplate calmly results that might prove fatal to himself. In the darkest experiences of life, a cheerful and hopeful nature looked forward with confidence to the lifting of the cloud. His purest enjoyments were in the midst of his family, to whom, in an extraordinary degree, he was tenderly devoted. To a surviving widow and nine children his loss is irreparable. With the fire department, under the volunteer system, he was honorably associated, and discharged the duties of his position with energy and fidelity. The strong hold he had upon the respect of those who knew him most intimately in private life, was equally apparent in his regiment, the officers and men of which, in token of regard, defrayed the expense of removing his remains from New Orleans to Providence, while the enlisted men of his company contributed and forwarded to his family, a purse of nearly one hundred and fifty dollars, â€” a spontaneous and touching tribute to the worth of their commander as a man and an officer."
Captains. Henry Simon. Commissioned captain Co. C, Fourth Rhode Island Infantry, Sept. 13, 1861; mustered in Oct. 30, 1861; resigned at Fredericksburg, Va., Aug. 11, 1862; commissioned captain Fourteenth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, Dec. 10, 1863; assigned to Co. B; remustered to date Sept. 14, 1863; president of a general court-martial, Matagorda Island, Texas, March 20, 1864; on general court-martial, June 2-16, 1864; borne as absent sick in St. James Hospital, New Orleans, La., from Sept. 8, 1864, until Oct. 6, 1864, when he died.