Charles E. Thompson was born Sept. 30, 1843 in South Hadley Falls, to Francis W. and Mary W. (Gilbert) Thompson.
Charles lived in West Brookfield from a very young age and attended local schools. He entered the shoe trade, as a young man.
He saw service during the Civil War enlisting as a Private in Co. D, 34th MA on 27 July 1862, and continuing to serve until his transfer out in Harpers Ferry, VA on Sept. 6. 1864. That same day, he joined the Co. H of the 22nd VRC (Veterans Reserve Corps) as a Corporal, and continued his service until the end of the war. He was discharged in Columbus, Ohio. [July 1, 1865] He suffered from rheumatism and heart disease while serving in Harpers Ferry in 1864 according to records from the US National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866 - 1938 database found on Ancestry.com.
It is unclear what Charles did immediately after his discharge in 1865, but he eventually returned to West Brookfield and married Emma Jane Bigelow there, on May 3, 1871. The 1880 census in West Brookfield shows that Charles had returned to the boot trade, and that his wife had given birth to two daughters. Estella, was born in 1872, and Carrie was born in 1874.
Charles applied for Civil War Pension as an invalid Sept. 5, 1890. He was admitted to the U. S. National Home for Volunteer Soldiers in Togus, Maine, in 1892, but was discharged dishonorably "for drunkenness and bringing liquor into the home with intent to distribute," in 1893. He may have stayed in Maine where he died in Oakland, Kennebec County on December 23, 1906. He was buried in Oakland, according to Maine records.
Emma Bigelow Thompson lived in West Brookfield until her death in 1937. Daughter Carrie married William Edward Dixon in 1894 and moved away. Estella, known to me as "Stella" stayed in town and never married. She spent the last nine years of her life at Quaboag Nursing Home and died at Mary Lane Hosptial in Ware at the age of 99.