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G.W. Gile

G.W. Gile

Federal (USV)

Lieutenant Colonel

George W. Gile

(1830 - 1896)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 88th Pennsylvania Infantry

Before Antietam

He lived in Littleton, NH to 1845, then was an apprentice printer in Haverhill and iron founder in Lowell, MA. About 1850 he was in "the field of literary labor as a reader, lecturer, and actor", which was his profession until the War. He was appointed First Lieutenant, 22nd Pennsylvania Infantry 23 April 1861 and mustered out 7 August 1861. He then enrolled as Major of the 88th Pennsylvania Infantry on 18 September 1861. His first serious combat was at 2nd Bull Run 30 August 1862. At that battle ... "Colonel M'Lean being absent, sick, the command devolved upon Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. M'Lean, who shortly after the action opened was mortally wounded, the command devolving on Major Gile." He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1 September 1862.

On the Campaign

He was wounded by a gunshot through the left thigh in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862. "Major Gile [in command] and [senior] Captain Steeples were severely wounded early in the fight. Captain Carmack assumed command, but he also was soon wounded, and the ranks were becoming rapidly decimated." Command then devolved on Captain Myers, Company B.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Colonel on 1 December 1862, but discharged on 3 March 1863 for wounds received at Antietam. He enrolled in the Veteran Reserve Corps (VRC) as Major on 22 May 1863 and was made Colonel, 9th Regiment, on 29 September 1863. He was honored by brevet to Brigadier General on May 6, 1865 for assisting in repelling the July 1864 attack on Fort Slocum, DC. He mustered out on 4 Jan 1867.

After the War

He was commissioned First Lieutenant, 45th US Infantry to date from 28 July 1866 and was promoted Captain on 4 February 1868. In March 1867 he was honored by 3 additional brevets: to Captain for for 2nd Bull Run, Major for South Mountain, and Lieutenant Colonel for Antietam. He served as Assistant Commissioner of the Freedman's Bureau for Florida 1869-70. He retired for disability (stemming from his Antietam wound) at the rank of Colonel 15 December 1870, reduced by Congress to Lieutenant Colonel on 3 March 1875 - being the highest rank he held in the service that disabled him (at Antietam, in his case). He was then in the insurance business in Philadelphia.

References & notes

Basic information from Bates1 and Heitman2. The picture here from a photograph in the MOLLUS Massachusetts Collection3. Details from a sketch in Jackson & Furber's History of Littleton, New Hampshire, Vol. 3 (1905). His gravesite is on Findagrave. Thanks to Steve Maczuga for publishing Bates' information in his excellent database.


01/25/1830; Bethlehem, NH


02/26/1896 Philadelphia, PA; burial in Mount Moriah Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA


1   Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871  [AotW citation 11828]

2   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 456  [AotW citation 14674]

3   US Army, Military History Institute (USAMHI), Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS)-Massachusetts Photograph Collection, Published 2009, <>, Source page: Vol. 112, pg. 5759  [AotW citation 14675]