Stoughton's Last Civil War Veteran




Obituary from The Stoughton News-Sentinel

Past Department Commander Charles A. Miles, the last Commander and Comrade of A. St. John Chambre Post No. 72 G.A.R. of this town, died at the Chelsea Naval Hospital late Wednesday evening, where he was taken less than a week ago. He was 94 years of age, Commander Miles was, born in Royalston , Mass. , April 30, 1846 , son of Noah and Sophia (Nichols) Miles. Apparently raised to serve his country in a righteous cause, at the age of  19, or on April 1, 1865 , he entered Company B, Engineering Corps of the regular army, in Boston 's quota. He served three years, being discharged while serving in Company E, April 1, 1868 . For the most part he was stationed in Virginia . He was later transferred to St. Louis , Mo. , where a new company was started, and from that post he was discharged with the rank of Sergeant.

Commander Miles moved to this town from Dorchester around 1906 and joined A. St. John Chambre Post 72, G.A.R., in May, 1907, being the 100th comrade to sign the roster. He opened a wheelwright shop adjoining the then Pye's blacksmith shop on Washington Street , retiring many years ago. Since his retirement he has been interested in the well being of the entire community. He has survived nearly 100 of his comrades and for the last few years has carried on bravely the Grand Army affairs as a lone soldier, though many aides around him supported him in his work. He was a good soldier in times of peace as in war; a man of sterling qualities; had administered personally to his fellow comrades of neighboring towns. He started in his Post career here as a private, served in many offices and was to be its last Commander, hence Post 72, G. A. R., leaves a wonderful heritage as an outstanding organization in this town. He was honored in 1939 as Department Commander of the Massachusetts Department of the Grand Army of the Republic, with less than 100 comrades surviving at that time.

Commander Miles was always modest in speaking of his service in the army and only at the last banquet given him by the Post 72, G. A. R. Associates, on Armistice eve, 1939, did anyone hear him tell of his service. The main fact that he brought out on that occasion was that when one first thinks of the engineering, corps of the, army, they think that the personnel do not have anything to do, do not have to fight nor risk any danger. Much to the contrary. Commander Miles continued, "They are in danger all the time, repairing bridges ruined or damaged by the enemy." Yes, Commander Miles was a good soldier and after the war he went to his home and followed the trade of wheelwright. He married Miss Nancy M. Lemon, January 21, 1870 . They were the parents of two sons, W. Scott Miles of Dorchester and Frank Miles of Providence , R.I. ; one grandchild, Miss Ruth B. Miles of Dorchester , also survives him.


Commander Miles marker at the Evergreen Cemetery, Stoughton

Back to the main page of