Stephen Miller was born January 7, 1816, in Carroll, Pennsylvania, a crossroads in Clinton County. He was educated in the local school and, as he grew older, drifted into politics, serving as court clerk of Dauphin County and "flour inspector" in Philadelphia. From 1853 until 1855 he edited a Whig newspaper in Harrisburg; in 1858 he removed to St. Cloud, Minnesota, where he engaged in business and was both a delegate to the Republican convention in Chicago and a Lincoln elector in 1860. The following year, losing no time in getting into the fight, Miller was mustered into service as lieutenant colonel of the 1st Minnesota two weeks after the fall of Sumter. The regiment reenlisted for three years on May 10, 1861. At First Manassas, where its historian claims for it "the heaviest percentage of loss ... in that battle," it was a part of Franklin's brigade of Heintzelman's division. It took part in the affair at Ball's Bluff, or Leesburg, where it acted as rear guard in the retreat of the Federals across the Potomac. After some duty in the Shenandoah in the spring of 1862, the regiment was sent to the Peninsula where it took part in the battle of Seven Pines and the battles of the Seven Days, where it was assigned to Sumner's II Corps. On August 24, 1862, Miller was made colonel of the newly organized 7th Minnesota, a unit brought into being primarily to combat the Sioux unrest in the state. He took command at Man-kato in November; was prominent in suppressing the Indian outbreak of 1863; presided at the executions of thirty-eight Sioux, naively described as "disloyal"; and on October 26, 1863, was made a brigadier general. On January 18, 1864, having been elected governor of Minnesota, he resigned his army commission. General Miller occupied the governor's chair from 1864 to 1865—a period when little could be done constructively other than keep the Sioux at bay and contribute to the war effort. After 1871 he was an employee of the St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad, now a part of the Chicago and North Western system. He died in Worthington, Minnesota, August 18, 1881, and is buried there.
Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.