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Vermont African Americans


Charles B. Wentworth, Woodstock

Regiment:54th Massachusetts Regiment (Colored) Infantry
Date of Enlistment:12/19/1863
Date of Discharge:07/13/1865

Born in New Hampshire, Charles Wentworth was married to Mary J. Wentworth and together they had two sons and two daughters. An established barber in Woodstock since the 1850s, Wentworth was one of three black Woodstock civilian residents who accompanied the 1st Vermont Brigade into service as an officer's waiter. Known as "Old Duke," he joined the all-white regiment during its 90 day service at the beginning of the war. When the opportunity arose in 1863 to become a full soldier in the army, he enlisted for three years service. He was 45 years old and considered remarkably old for a recruit. He served until July of 1865 when he was discharged at Beaufort, South Carolina, due to disability. He returned to Woodstock and continued his trade as barber until his death on May 8, 1893. He was 79 years old. Charles Wentworth is buried at the River Street Cemetery in Woodstock.