Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
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John Bernard Vandergriff, M.D.
Dr. John Bernard Vandergriff(a), a civilian medical doctor, relates the occasion of his entry into military service in the following passage from a letter dated September 15, 1864. "Whilst a resident of the parish of Lafayette, La. an opportunity presented itself and was gladly adopted by myself rendering my service to the officers and privates of Capt. A. M. Pearsons Company 1st La Regiment at that time commanding the post at Vermillionville, La. during the first expedition through the western portions of La. by Major General Banks. From that period until the Generals return in September last 1863, I remained in the same parish having to contend with violent enemies and on several occasions came near losing my life in consequence of my loyalty to the government. On the return of the Federal forces my labors were renewed and I then embraced the opportunity to enter the service and in my present position was in active service in the field with my Regiment." Dr. John B. Vandergriff was mustered into the 2nd Regiment Louisiana Infantry at age 37 as Assistant Surgeon on March 4, 1864 for a period of three years. He was appointed from civilian life. At his request, he was transferred to the 1st Regiment New Orleans Volunteers as First Assistant Surgeon and mustered into this regiment on October 12, 1864. He was subsequently discharged from the service on disability on December 19, 1865.
After his return to St. Martin parish after the Civil War, Dr. Vandergriff was elected a member of the board of registration. During the Constitutional Convention of 1867-68, Dr. Vandergriff was a delegate and Chairman of the Enrollment Committee. In the years 1879 - 1883, he was elected Coroner of Ascension Parish residing in Donaldsonville, Louisiana.
Dr. Vandergriff was a member of the Joseph A. Mower Post No. 1 of the Grand Army of the Republic, New Orleans, and served as it's Medical Director since it's organization in 1884. In 1892, the doctor was appointed President of Board, United States Examining Surgeon of Pensions by President Benjamin Harrison. Dr. Vandergriff died in New Orleans on November 4, 1898 at the age of 72. He had been married twice, his first wife being Aspasie Montault and his second wife being Emelie Derbonne.
Information was gathered by the following researchers, Muriel Bertuccini, Carolyn Bonnin, Donna Spragins and Emma Sutton (all great-great-granddaughters of Dr. Vandergriff) and Lucille Dillenkoffer (wife of great-grandson Edward Dillenkoffer). Photograph provided from Roux/Dillenkoffer family files. Information and photograph submitted by Dr. Vandergriff's great-great granddaughter, Carolyn Bonnin.
(a) The surname is frequently found spelled as Vandegriff or Vandergriff.
Dr. John Bernard Vandergriff