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Captain William A. Gile. U.S.V.

Captain William A. Gile (Eighteenth New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry and One Hundred and Seventeenth United States Colored Troops) was born in Northfield, New Hampshire, June 5, 1843, and when he entered the service the lines of the town of Franklin included that portion of the town of Northfield in which he was born, the birthplace being on the east shore of the Merrimac River, opposite to and near the early home of Daniel Webster. He was the son of Alfred A. Gile, a native of New Hampshire, whose ancestors for three generations had lived at and near this homestead, near the head of the Merrimac. His mother was a native of Pennsylvania, and was of German descent, the will of his grandfather on the maternal branch being written in the German language.

The subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools of his native town, and in the Academy at Franklin and the Seminary at Tilton. He entered the service first in August, 1862, as an enlisted man in the Sixteenth New Hampshire Volunteers, and was in the Banks campaign in Louisiana during the operations in the Teche country, and before Port Hudson, and through the several engagements at and before the capitulation of Port Hudson in July, 1863. In August, 1863, he was discharged, with his younger brother, Frank, who accompanied him, and shared his camp life and army experience during the Banks campaign.

When discharged both were under twenty-one years of age and, by the severe test of the malarial district in which they were encamped, much emaciated and broken in health. In September, 1864, Captain Gile was appointed I to that rank as captain of Company E, Eighteenth New Hampshire Volunteers, and went to the front at City Point, Virginia, where he was detailed as member of the general court-martial of the Army of the Potomac, of which General Charles H. T. Collis, of Pennsylvania, was president.

Captain Gile's regiment was brigaded during that winter with the Engineer Corps of General Benham, at City Point, and during the fall and early winter of 1864 helped to construct a second line of earthworks around the base of supplies, and head-quarters of the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James, situated at the junction of the James and Appomattox Rivers, City Point.

Captain Gile was engaged upon court-martial. from October 1, 1864, until the last week in March, 1865, when, with his company, he was engaged in the defence of Fort Steadman, at the second assault upon that fort on the 27th of March, and in which the whole rebel army of Northern Virginia was concentrated and engaged. This engagement was the last attempt of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to break the lines of the Army of the Potomac through their fortifications, and the final chase for Appomattox began, and ended soon after.

In August, 1865, having been discharged from service in the Eighteenth New Hampshire Volunteers, Captain Gile was mustered into the service again as first lieutenant and afterwards appointed captain, and went to Texas in the Army of Observation under General Sheridan, who commanded the Fifth Military District at that time. He remained in the service while the French troops were in Mexico, and until the said troops left the soil of that republic, and was discharged from the army in August, 1867, as captain in the One Hundred and Seventeenth United States Colored Troops.

After his discharge he studied law for a year in the office of Honorable Austin F. Pike, of Franklin, New Hampshire, and thereafter for two years in Harvard Law School, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was admitted to the bar of Massachusetts in June, 1869. He practiced law in Greenfield, Massachusetts, as partner with Honorable Whiting Griswold, of that town, for two years; went to Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1871, and formed a law partnership with Charles A. Merrill, Esquire, who had been a chum and friend at Harvard Law-School. In 1880 he dissolved co-partnership with Mr. Merrill, and has since been engaged in the active practice of his profession alone, in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he stands at the head of his profession as a jury advocate and sound practitioner.

Captain Gile has represented the city of Worcester in the Legislature for two years, in 1886-88. He was a member of the Republican National Convention of 1888; is a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the Massachusetts Commandery, and of the Grand Army of the Republic; of the fraternal orders of Odd Fellows, of Freemasons, and of Knights of Pythias. In politics he is a stalwart Republican; in theology he is a radical Unitarian.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

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