John Franklin Miller

John Franklin Miller, a native of South Bend, Indiana, was born on November 21, 1831. He was educated in South Bend, Chicago, and at Ballston Spa, New York, where he received his law degree at the age of twenty-one. He began his practice in South Bend, but went to Napa, California, in 1853, where he continued his practice and served as county treasurer. He returned to South Bend in 1855 and was elected to the state senate in 1861. On August 27 of that year Miller was commissioned colonel of the 29th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, a regiment whose first important service was in Kirk's brigade of Alexander McD. McCook's division of Buell's Army of the Ohio on the second day at Shiloh. It moved to Corinth, then through northern Alabama and Tennessee, and followed Braxton Bragg through Kentucky. At Murfreesboro where it is said he was wounded, Miller commanded a brigade in Negley's division under George Thomas, who directed the Union center. In the course of the Tullahoma campaign, by which W. S. Rosecrans maneuvered Bragg out of Tennessee, Miller commanded a brigade of the XX Corps, again under McCook, and was wounded in a skirmish at Liberty Gap on June 27, 1863. He was apparently not on duty again until May, 1864, when he was assigned to command of the city and post of Nashville. In the meantime, he had been appointed a brigadier general on April 10, 1864, to rank from January 5. At the battle of Nashville in December, Miller had under his command all or portions of twelve regiments of infantry, five of which were brigaded, as well as fourteen batteries. He was brevetted major general for his services there on March 13, 1865. The war over, General Miller resigned on September 25, 1865, declined a colonelcy in the Regular Army, and returned to California, where until 1869 he was collector of the port of San Francisco under appointment of President Johnson. For the next twelve years he was president of the Alaska Commercial Company, which controlled the fur industry in the newly acquired Pribilof Islands. In 1880 Miller was elected by the California legislature to a seat in the U. S. Senate, after having served in 1878-79 as a member of the state constitutional convention. In Washington he was chiefly known as a leading exponent of anti-Chinese legislation. He died, while in office, on March 8, 1886, and was buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, San Francisco, but was reburied in Arlington National Cemetery in 1913.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.