Civil War Blog

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Joseph H. Miller – Boatman of Millersburg, Local G.A.R. Charter Member

Posted By on January 30, 2017

Joseph H.Miller died on 23 Apr 1910 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

On the day of his death, the Harrisburg Telegraph published his obituary:

Aged Veteran Dies at Millersburg Home

Special to the Telegraph

Millersburg, 23 April 1910 — Joseph Miller, a veteran of the Civil War, died at his home on Pine Street at 8 o’clock Friday evening, aged 77 years.  Mr.Miller had been in failing health for the past two years, but had been able to get around until two days before his death, when he was seized with an attack of rheumatism of the heart.  He leaves a wife and daughter, Mrs. Croll Frank, of Reading, and one son, John Miller, whose residence is not known.  The funeral will take place from his late residence, Tuesday at 2 p.m., Rev.Mr. Oswald officiating.  The G.A.R., of which he was a member, and a guard of honor from Washington Camp, P.O.S. of A, will turn out at the funeral.

On 8 August 1862, Joseph Miller, at age 23, enrolled in the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry, Company D, at Harrisburg.  On the next day, he was mustered into service as a Private.  He gave his occupation as boatmaker and his residence as Dauphin County.  He was honorably discharged on 29 May 1863.

Less than two years later on 28 February 1865, Joseph Miller enrolled in the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry, 2nd Company K, at Harrisburg.  The “2nd Company” was formed to replace the “1st Company” that had been decimated by the war.   On 3 March 1865, he was mustered into service in Harrisburg as a Private.  At the time, he said his age was 32 (a conflict with his prior service record), that he was a waterman by occupation, and that he was born in Dauphin County (also a conflict, but with later records – see below).  He was about 5 foot 6 inches tall, had a fair complexion, and grey eyes.  His term of service ended on 28 June 1865 with his discharge along with the other members of his company.

The two Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Cards are from the Pennsylvania Archives.

Pension records confirm that the two terms of service belong to the same person (card above from Ancestry.com).  On 10 July 1890, Joseph Miller applied for an invalid pension, which he received and collected until his death.  Shortly after his death, his widow Catharine applied for benefits, which she received until her death.

What is known about Joseph Miller, some of which has been previously reported here, is that he (1) was a charter member of the Kilpatrick G.A.R. Post in Millersburg; and (2) is named on the Millersburg Soldier Monument.

The charter of the Kilpatrick Post (shown above from the Millersburg and Upper Paxton Township Historical Society), gives his name as a charter member.

And, the tablet on the Millersburg Soldier Monument gives his name (shown above) as a local veteran of the Civil War.

The death certificate of Joseph H. Miller (shown above from Ancestry.com), confirms the death date as 23 April 1910, the burial place as Oak Hill Cemetery in Millersburg, and gives the birth date as 19 March 1833. The birth date is consistent with the service record in the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry but not with the service record in the 127th Pennsylvania Infantry.

The place of birth is given as Germany – not Dauphin County as previously reported.  This conflict as to place of birth is reported by Dennis Brandt in Joseph Miller‘s Findagrave Memorial; he also notes that the censuses of 1900 and 1910 also give the birth place as Germany, while the military records and prior censuses give the birth place as Pennsylvania.

Not known at this time is the relationship of the informant for the death certificate, G. Roy Miller, whose residence appears to be Millersburg.  There is also no positive genealogical connection established between the survivor, Mrs. Croll Frank, who was said to be a daughter in the obituary.

Joseph Miller‘s widow, Catharine [Osman] Miller, also has a Findagrave Memorial, which shows her grave marker at Oak Hill Cemetery, Millersburg, and gives her birth date as 31 March 1838, in Pennsylvania, and her death date as 5 January 1926, in Harrisburg.  Not much else about her is known at this time, but the maiden name of Osman should connect her to the pioneer family of that name.

Additional information is sought about Joseph H. Miller, his family and his Civil War services.  Can anyone provide a picture of him?  Comments can be added to this post or information can be sent via e-mail.





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