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"Death of Colonel Miller"
Oswego Daily Times
Saturday, August 17, 1878
Transcribed and donated by Tom Ebert

Col. Francis C. Miller died at his residence in Oneida last night at 12 o’clock. Some days since he was taken with what seemed to be cramping while bathing in Oneida lake, at the head of which he had a summer cottage. He was rescued from drowning with difficulty, and was attacked immediately with brain fever, and was delirious most of the time until his death.

Thus departed another of those brave men who periled their lives that the Union might live. Col. Miller was the oldest son of the late John D. Miller, for many years a well known citizen of Oswego. He was born in Mohawk, Herkimer County, and came with his father to reside in this city when six years old.

When the rebellion broke out Col. Miller was a young man in this city. He had been an officer in the Oswego Guards, a well known military company of this city, and had acquired a knowledge of military tactics. When the call for volunteers came, he raised Company C of the Twenty-Fourth Regiment of New York Volunteers and took it into the field. He was with his company through the entire career of the regiment, until on its march to Antietam, he received word of his promotion to the position of Major of he 147th, with orders to report at once for duty, to his regiment. He filled the position of Major until the resignation of Col. Warner when he was promoted to the Lieutenant Colonelcy, and upon the resignation of Col. Butler, he was made Colonel and remained in command of the regiment which he had for some time in the absence of his predecessor. In the Battle of the Wilderness at the head of his regiment, Col. Miller was shot directly through the body, the bullet passing out near the spine. The ball struck the case of his watch, as it entered his body and was slightly diverted in its course, and otherwise would have shattered the spinal column. He was thrown from his horse in a state of insensibility, and was captured by the enemy, his regiment supposing that he was killed. He was reported killed and his regiment and friends at home so supposed for weeks. When the enemy found that he was still alive and might possibly recover they sent him to Lynchburgh, Virginia, and when he was well enough to travel they sent him to Charleston, and company with about two hundred other Union officers he was placed under fire to deter Gen. Gilmore from shelling the city. He was subsequently paroled and resumed command of his regiment, and was with it at the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. After the close of the war Col. Miller returned to this city for a short time but soon after went into the lumber trade in the village of Oneida, where he acquired the respect and confidence of the whole community. He was at one time President of the village, and was universally regarded as an enterprising, public spirited and popular man.

As a soldier and officer, Col. Miller was brave, intrepid, and popular with his officers and men. As a citizen he was patriotic, honorable, highminded, and genial. The people of Oswego, as well as of Oneida, will deeply regret his death.

Source: Oswego Daily Times, Saturday, August 17, 1878

Note from transcriber:
Interestingly, the article does not mention that he was wounded in the head at Gettysburg at a critical moment. Col. Miller was wounded almost simultaneously getting orders to withdraw their position at the railroad cut.
Once wounded, his horse bolted. Major George Harney (later a Lt. Col.) not having received the order held the regiment in position as the 2nd and 42nd Mississippi and 55th North Carolina pressed upon the isolated regiment. Orders were finally received and the 147th withdrew with get loss in dead, wounded and captured soldiers.

 

There is a photograph of Colonel Miller here.

 

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: August 9, 2007
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/147thInf/147thInfArticleDeathOfMiller.htm

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