Great uncle William was born about 1838 in Douglas, New Brunswick. The 1851 York, New Brunswick Census lists his age as 13. He must have left home at an early age as he is not found on the 1861 Census of Canada. William took up residence in Bangor, Maine. His service record shows that he was 25 years old when he enlisted; he was single; had a fair complexion and hazel eyes with dark hair and stood five feet seven inches and his occupation is listed as lumberman.
Much of the Union Army was made up of foreigners—men who had not been born in America. Of these, the largest group was the Germans, followed by the Irish, Canadians, and English. http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/warfare-and-logistics/warfare/who-fought.html
1,907 men served in the 16th Maine Infantry Regiment at one point or another during its service. It lost 181 enlisted men killed in action or died of wounds. 578 members of the regiment were wounded in action, 259 died of disease, and 76 died in Confederate prisons for a total of 511 fatalities from all causes, a rate of 57%.
I have seen records that show that William died on February 7th, 1865 and that he was mustered out of the army on February 7th, 1865. How is it possible to die and muster out on the same date? Well it is! Civil War records list William as having died and mustered out on the same day. They considered a death as having "left service".
William's burial site has always been unknown until recent records came on line. I found a record on Familysearch.org, the Maine, Veterans Cemetery Records, 1676-1918. This record shows that he is buried in Mrs. Cummings' Garden-Va. Searching the internet did not show where Mrs. Cummings Garden was located. Further research located a book, The Sixteenth Maine Regiment in the War of the Rebellion by Major A.R. Small. On page 312 he writes that William Gilbert is buried in Mrs. Cummings Lot, Gardiner Maine.
I have had the good luck to visit the actual Hatcher's Run battlefield and one day I hope that I can visit Mrs. Cummings Lot in Gardiner Maine to pay my respect to William Gilbert.
Hatchers Run battlefield as it looks today.