Miller Family History

My Civil War Service Albert Miller

 Albert Miller July 1, 1930 age 87 yrs
     I will begin a short history of my Civil war service. I was born in a log cabin in Indiana Co. Pa. on January 29, 1843. When I was about 8 years old our family lived in the town of Mechanicsburg Indiana Co. Pa. I enlisted in Co. B, 67th Regt in Philadelphia on the 28th of Feb 1862. Left the city on a boat, landed in Annapolis Md 3rd of April. The Regt did guard duty in the city in camp parole. Company B did guard duty of the railroads between the city and Annapolis Md. Left for Harpersferry Feb 1863 on duty there a short time then moved to Berryville Virginia to take care of Col Mosby. We had several scraps with him and were in Berryville until June 13. We drove part of Gen Lees cavalry. There at Winchester we met our army under command of Gen Milroy again met with Gen Lee army on their north on the 14. The battle of Winchester was fought on the morning of the 15th of June. All of Gen Milroys army was captured except the cavalry and all on horse back. Our Col went with them our Major was thrown from his horse and was captured. As prisoners we were marched up the Shenandoah Valley to Staunton. There we were put on a train in box cars packed in so closely we had to stand all night. Next morning we were in Richmond Va. then to Libby for a few days. "Libby Prison, one of the famous institutions of the South. This was a large brink bldg. that had been used as a manufacturing establishment." Then over to Belle Island. On Belle Island we were put
in stockade built with poles stood up and down with platform above for the guards. The guards could see over the prison and the dead line. Any one stepping over the line would be shot.
     There were six of us boys bunched together we got a piece of canvas and four poles and made a shade for ourselves. We were made to march every day. I don’t know why. The sun shone hot, also had to stand in line for an hour or two at a time. We were marched from one side of the island to the other. We always took our four poles and canvas with us. On our way was a small stream of water with a narrow footbridge across it, which we crossed single file a long procedure. For to eat they gave us enough bread and black bean soup, boiled in water from the muddy James river. The quotes in this writing were taken from the Perry Chief under the title, Perry Personalities, by Rev Peter Jacobs. "They were next placed in stockade at Belle Island. Paroled in July they were moved to Parole Camp at Annapolis, Md. there to await exchange which in his case occurred Oct. 11, 1863.
     "The most distressing features in these prison camps were the lack of good food shelter and 'blaybacks.' The World War I boys called them 'Cooties' but the critters are no less disturbing. When the Union army left the Shenandoah Valley, this great granary of the South, they burned the grain stacks. Mills took all horses cattle and sheep and everything that might supply provisions for the Confederates. Mr. Miller took part in the siege of Richmond. His forces captured the forts around Petersburg. Their most important engagement was at Saylors Creek April 6 three days later the southern Gen. Lee met the terms of Unconditional Surrender to gen Grant. Mr Miller was mustered out at Halls Hill Va July 14, 1865. The nearest he came to being wounded was in the skirmish at Fishers Hill when a bullet grazed his left hand and  a second ball struck just above his head."

     (AA Miller)  When the prisoners were released from Libby prison those whose names began with letters from the first of the alphabet were released first. Fathers name came about the middle of the alphabet. Then names from the other end of the alphabet were called, they came back , however, and his name was called. When a prisoner was released he would call good-bye to the ones left. So happy was he to get out he tried to jump a little fence about 2 ft high but was too weak and fell. After Gen Milroy defeat Gen Sheridan who had only the cavalry was given the infantry as well. Gen Sheridan army was about a mile away from Appomattox Court House, where father was located, when Gen Lee surrendered to Gen Grant. Part of his army was still fighting after the surrender not knowing about the surrender. Father was in the US Army about 3 1/2 years. His parents were both born in York Co Pa, married there moved to Indiana Co Pa. After the Civil war father visited cousins in Mich. Came to Boone Co Peoples Twp
Iowa 1867 where his father and family later lived on a farm. Father was a carpenter and worked for Ben Campbell in Perry Iowa. After his marriage to Ellen M Mowrer June 26, 1879 they lived on a farm in Peoples Twp Boone Co Iowa. Father built his own house before he married. Before moving to Iowa grandfather John Miller worked at the shoe makers trade.

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