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William A. Gile. U.S.V.
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
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