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Charles J. Guild a "nine-month" Man

Charles J. Guild (1825-1874)


Charles J. Guild was born in Dedham in 1825 to Nathaniel and Sybil Guild.

At the time of the Civil War, Charles was a cabinet maker, likely working at the Everett Furniture Factory in the center of South Dedham.



W.W. Everett Furniture Mfg. South Dedham, MA

On August 25, 1862, Guild, then 35, enlisted as a Private in Company D of the 43rd Massachusetts Regiment alongside William H. Gay.


Both enlisted as “nine-month men.” The regiment trained in Readville, Massachusetts, a town just outside of Dedham and left Boston on October 24. For much of their tour they were stationed near New Bern, North Carolina, where their most significant encounter was the Goldsborough Expedition in December of 1862. Ordered to destroy the strategically significant Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Bridge across the Neuse River, a vital link in the Confederate supply chain, the Union troops faced three engagements – at Kinston, White Hall, and Goldsborough – on their way. They set the bridge on fire and destroyed three miles of tracks to hamper its reconstruction. During their return, skirmishes with Confederates slowed their progress. At one point, the Confederates dismantled the dam on a mill pond forcing the Union soldiers to cross a rapidly-rushing neck-high stream on foot. They arrived back in New Bern just before Christmas. Gay and Guild were mustered out on July 30, 1863.


43rd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers New Bern NC encampment seven months before Charles Guild joins.

“The burning of the Wilmington and Weldon railroad bridge.” Illustration by Randy Sauls

Sometime after his return from the war, Charles Guild left South Dedham. He died in Worcester on April 28, 1874 in Worcester, where he was working as a “jobber.” His body was returned to his home town and he was interred with his parents in the family plot here in Old Parish Cemetery.


Charles J. Guild listed at the base of this Guild family stone repaired by Old Parish Preservation Volunteers.

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