John Miller (1) - update 8/20/2016

John Miller (1) was born on December 9, 1841, in Scotland.

John immigrated to the United States in 1857 and eventually moved west settling in Grand Rapids, Kent County. By 1859-60 he was working as a blacksmith for Cook & Seymour in Grand Rapids.

He was 20 years old and probably living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. He was described by George Harris, also of Company F, as “the man who swore to stand by me through thick and thin before we left Grand Rapids and has always kept that pledge inviolate, he has stood by me in danger and we have fought side by side; we tented together and slept together and are as firm friends as ever.” Harris, who was taken prisoner and spent a brief sojourn in a southern prison, had apparently requested Miller to write to Harris’ girlfriend since Miller “of course knew your address having seen me direct my letters many a time and when he was sure that I was either killed or captured he considered it his duty and in fact it was my request that if I fell in action he should in case he survived to acquaint my friends with the facts. He answered yours of about the 19th of July which I thanked hastily for doing when he told me what he had done for I naturally supposed my love that it relieved your mind of a great deal of anxiety.”

John was attached to the ambulance corps from September of 1862 through January of 1863, and reported as an ambulance driver for either Bramhall’s New Jersey Battery or Company K, 6th New York Artillery from February of 1863 until he was mustered out on June 20, 1864.

He may have been a member of the 6th Independent battery of an unknown New York artillery regiment, and it is quite likely that he was the same John Miller who enlisted in the 6th New York Artillery on August 21, 1862, at Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York, and was mustered out at Washington, DC on August 24, 1865.

It is unknown whether John ever returned to Michigan.

He married Priusian-born Bertha Wilhelmina Seibt (1847-1890), and they had at least one child: Bertha M. (Mrs. Donovan, 1874-1940).

By 1880 John was working as a blacksmith and living with his wife in Santa Rosa, California. He was living in Santa Rosa in December of 1886 when he became a member of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry Association, and in 1900. In 1903 he applied for and received a pension (no. 1077924).

John died on May 18, 1906, probably in Santa Rosa, California, and was buried in Old Rural cemetery, in Santa Rosa.