Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Updated Information of John C. Miller of Lykens, Including Son’s Tragic Death

Posted By on March 31, 2017

Previously, on this blog, the death and funeral of John C. Miller were described.

The above portion of the plaque on the Lykens G.A.R. Monument notes the name of 1st Sergeant John C. Miller as a Civil War veteran who was wounded during the war and joined the Heilner Post after its organization.

The Pennsylvania Veterans’ File Card from the Pennsylvania Archives states that John C. Miller was enrolled at Annville, Lebanon County, on 17 September 1861, in Company H of the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry, as a Private, and was mustered into service at Lebanon, Lebanon County, on 27 June 1865.  At the time he was 18 years old, was a shoemaker, and resided in Annville.  He stood just over 5 foot 4 inches tall, had sandy hair, a sandy complexion, and grey eyes. During the war he was wounded on 31 May 1862 and later was promoted to Corporal.  He was wounded again on 3 May 1863.  On 1 January 1864, he re-enlisted at Brandy Station, Virginia.  The back of the card was not available, but some time before his discharge on 27 June 1865, he was promoted to Sergeant.

In 1890, he was living in Lykens and reported his service in the 93rd Pennsylvania Infantry to the census, also reporting that during the war he was wounded in the shoulder.

John C. Miller married Sarah Louise Reyman.  She was born in 1833 and died in 1899.

According to the Pension Index Card shown above from Fold3, John C. Miller applied for an invalid pension on 19 July 1879, which he was awarded and collected until his death on 10 April 1901.

Finally, this brief notice appeared in the Millersburg Herald and then was reprinted in the Harrisburg Telegraph on 22 October 1886.  It tells of a major tragedy that occurred in the life of John C. Miller and Sarah Louisa [Reyman] Miller:

Warren Miller, the young man who was killed here in the freight wreck on Tuesday night, was a son of J. C. Miller, of Lykens, a bright and intelligent youth of seventeen years, and an only son and a favorite young man of the town.  He graduated in the Lykens High school last spring, and stood high in his class.  He had accompanied the freight crew on a trip to Harrisburg for the novelty of it.

That train wreck was more fully reported in the Harrisburg Daily Independent one day before:


A Fatal Railway Accident near Millersburg Yesterday

Shortly after 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon a serious railway accident occurred near Millersburg.  One young man named Miller was instantly killed, and three other men named Jones, Day and Meyers injured seriously.  The accident occurred through the alleged carelessness of a flagman.  A freight train from the Summit Branch Road was running on a siding, when fast local freight came along at a rapid rate, struck the cabin car of the Summit Branch train, crushing it and killing young Miller.  Conductor Day of the first train was wedged between the cabin car and the engine.  His injuries were not as serious as supposed.  The engineer of the fast local freight was hurt about the face.  Esquire Auchmuty held an inquest, the jury rendered a verdict that the accident was due to the carelessness of the train hands and censuring the flagman with neglecting his duty.  The news of the accident soon brought a large crowd to the scene and every assistance was rendered the injured men.  Young Miller was a son of Mr. John C. Miller, of Lykens, and about 17 years of age.


News clippings are from Newspaper.com.




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