From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 592-593, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Samuel Miller, an intelligent farmer and prominent veteran of
the late war, residing in Ashland, Illinois, is a native of Tazewell
county, this State, where he was born July 6, 1837.
His parents were Joseph and Sarah (Kemper) Miller, the former a
native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while the latter was born in
Kentucky, in which latter State they wee married, and whence they
removed in an early day to Tazewell county, Illinois. Eight children
were born to this union, four sons and four daughters, only three
children now surviving. The deceased are, Christiana, Eliza, Harriet,
Diana, Thomas and William, of whom Harriet and Diana died in childhood
and the other two daughters in mature life, being married and leaving
families; William also died in mature age, leaving a wife and child.
Thomas, Joseph and the subject of this sketch comprise the surviving
members of this once large family. Thomas, who served two years in the
army, is now married, and is a farmer in Harper county, Kansas; Joseph
is a prosperous farmer, and resides in Delavan, Tazewell county; he is
also married, and both have families. The father of this family died in
1843, widely mourned by the pioneers of his county. He left a large
family to the care of his faithful wife, who ably performed her duty by
them, finally going to her reward in 1863, while the subject of this
notice was absent in the war.
Mr. Miller received a common-school education in Tazewell
county, and was reared to farm life. November 8, 1858, he married Miss
Nancy Nash, an intelligent lady, who was also a native of Tazewell
county. She was a daughter of Andrew and Lucinda Vancil, prominent
pioneers of that county, and was one of seven children, three of whom
are now living. Andrew J., the oldest, died in childhood; Mrs. Miller
is the second; Catharine died aged two years; George served in the
Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry, is married, and is a farmer in Harper
county, Kansas; William Graham, a half-brother, was also a soldier in
the late war, and resides in Tazewell county; Sarah and John A. died in
Mr. Miller enlisted in Company C, Eleventh Illinois Cavalry, at
Peoria, this State, in November, 1861, serving in the regiment
commanded by the noted Colonel R. G. Ingersoll. He was sworn into the
United States service December 20, 1861, remaining at Camp Lyon until
February 22, 1862, when he accompanied his regiment to Benton Barracks,
St. Louis, Missouri, where they were armed and mounted. Thence they
proceeded to Shiloh, to take part in that sanguinary engagement, under
the command of General Lew Wallace. After two days at that point, they
moved forward to Corinth, participating at the siege of that city. They
remained there until the fall of 1862, when they were attacked by Van
Dorn and Price, who sought to recapture Corinth, but the enemy were
repulsed with heavy loss of killed, wounded and prisoners. The regiment
next went to Rienzi, Mississippi, where they had a severe battle,
capturing the place and returning to Corinth. They afterward went to
Lagrange, Tennessee, under the command of General Grant, and were cut
off at Holly Springs, being obliged to return; whereupon they took
boats and went to Vicksburg, participating in the siege of that city.
They captured Yazoo City and went in camp between Jackson and
Vicksburg, on the Black river. While lying there, the regiment and two
sections of artillery were ordered on a forced march to Lexington,
Tennessee, where a portion of the regiment, including Colonel
Ingersoll, were taken prisoners by General Forrest's men, and were
paroled on the field. At Parker's cross-roads they had a fight, in
which the Union forces defeated the enemy, and pursued them into
Tennessee. Mr. Miller's regiment was with General Sherman in his march
to Meridian, Mississippi, in February, 1864. Their time having expired,
nearly all re-enlisted, and were mustered in at Vicksburg, December 20,
1863. They then returned to Illinois on a veteran furlough, at the
expiration of which they went back to Vicksburg, where they spent the
spring and summer in scouting and watching guerillas and bushwhackers.
It was while here that Mr. Miller received a severe injury, by his
horse falling on him, for which he now receives a pension. He was
mustered out of the service, September 30, 1865, and was paid off and
discharged at Springfield, October 20, 1865.
He then hastened to return to his family in Tazewell county,
Illinois, where he missed one kindly face and heart-felt welcome, his
mother having died during his absence. He gradually assumed his former
daily routine of duties, and notwithstanding loss of dear ones, many
hardships endured and misfortunes sustained, the sense of having
fulfilled his duty, as he realized it, gave him renewed energy for the
prosecution of life's tasks.
He and his worthy wife are the parents of six children, all of
whom are now married and at the head of families. Thomas is a farmer
near Delavan, Illinois; Alpheus lives in Ashland; Clara, now Mrs.
Thompson, lives in Virginia, this State; Ida, married Ralph Nixon, a
superintendent of coal mines, and resides in Wesley City, near Peoria,
this State; Martha, now Mrs. Smith, lives at her parents' home; Della
married Mr. Perrin, and resides in Virginia, Illinois.
Mr. Miller is a stanch Republican in politics, and is a
prominent member of Downing Post, No. 321, Virginia, Illinois. His
worthy wife is an earnest and useful member of the Baptist Church, to
the support of which they both contribute.
An honest and industrious citizen, a brave and efficient
soldier, and devoted husband and father, he deserves the high esteem in
which he is universally held.
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