Charles Gaskill

Charles Gaskill, also known as “Gascal” and “Gaskell,” was born in 1842.

Charles was 19 years old and probably living in Watertown, Clinton County, Michigan, when he enlisted with the consent of the Justice of the Peace in Company G on May 10, 1861. According to Frank Siverd of Company G, in early June Charles was sick with the measles. He was, Siverd was quick to add, “well cared for. [Regimental Surgeon D. W.] Bliss leaves nothing undone that will contribute to the comfort of the sick. To prevent the disease spreading, as soon as the first symptoms appear,” Bliss had Gaskill, along with several others “removed to the house of a physician, some three miles from camp.”

Charles recovered sufficiently enough to leave Michigan with the regiment on June 13, 1861, and was nearly killed in a shooting accident in early August. Frank Siverd wrote on August 7 “An accident occurred this p.m. which came near proving fatal to Gaskill, of our company. A musket charged with ball and buckshot was carelessly fired by a member of Co. B. The charge riddled two tents. The ball struck Gaskill on the back part of the head and made a flesh wound several inches long. One of the shot took effect in the elbow of [Eli] Corey, formerly of our company, but now of B. Corporal [Joseph] Stevens and a number of others were sitting in the same group with G. and C. and their escape is miraculous.”

Charles Church of Company G also related the story in a letter to his father. He said that Gaskill was shot accidentally by a man from Company B who “was cleaning his gun and he took a cap and snapped it on his gun and off it went. The buck shot scattered all around and one hit Gascal [sic] in the head and the others with the ball went through a tent tearing and shattering a gun stock. . . .” According to Church, Gaskill was “not dangerously hurt” and was up and around the camp.

However, Charles survived the accidental wounding only to be killed in action on May 31, 1862, at Fair Oaks, Virginia.

Homer Thayer of Company G wrote on June 3 that Color Sergeant Charles Foster of Company G had been “the first to fall. He was bravely holding the colors, and by his coolness and courage, doing much to encourage the boys to press on. Orderly E. F. Siverd was soon after wounded, but still did his duty and urged his comrades on. Soon after this Corporals Case B. Wickham, John Blanchard and Nathaniel T. Atkinson, and privates Samuel Dowell and Charles T. Gaskill received fatal shots. Atkinson and Dowell were brought from the field before they died. All have been buried, and their resting places marked with aboard giving the name, company and Regiment.”

Charles was presumably among the unknown soldiers buried in Seven Pines National Cemetery.

No pension seems to be available.