||CHILD, Benjamin Ham, Chief of Police of
the City of Providence, was born in Providence, May 8, 1843, son of John
Griswold and Mary Ann (Ham) Child; the former a native of Connecticut and
the latter of Providence. He attended the common schools in Providence
until fourteen years of age, when he was apprenticed to Granville Greenleaf,
a wireworker in Westminster Street.
He was a youth of eighteen at the opening of the civil war, and in June
1861 he enlisted as private, and was mustered into the United States service
in the Second Rhode Island Battery, afterwards Battery A, First Regiment,
Rhode Island Light Artillery, for three years, or for the war. At the first
Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861, he was slightly wounded and in
August following was promoted to corporal. He was again slightly wounded
at the Battle of Antietam, on which occasion he was promoted to Sergeant.
At Gettysburg, in Pickett's charge, he received a severe wound—" shot through
the left shoulder,"—and was sent to the Satterlee Hospital at West Philadelphia.
And in August 1863 he was commissioned second Lieutenant of Battery A (afterwards
transferred to Battery H, same regiment) by Governor James V. Smith. After
serving forty-three months in the Second Army Corps, Army of the Potomac,
and three times wounded, he was honorably discharged on account of wounds,
by special order of General Meade, commanding the Army of the Potomac.
In 1868 he was appointed patrolman in the police department of Providence,
by Mayor Thomas A. Doyle, and was successively promoted to Doorman of Station
1 in 1874, Sergeant of Station 4 in 1877, Captain in 1879, and was appointed
Chief of Police, January 5, I881. In politics he is a Republican. He was
married November 14, 1872, to Ruth Avery; they have one daughter: Mary
Elizabeth Avery who married Abner E. Clafin, of Providence, November 12,