WONDERFUL GROUPING IDENTIFIED TO JOHN W. MILLLER OF THE 113TH OHIO

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Item Code: 2021-803

Pristine, crystal clear quarter-plate ruby ambrotype of private John W. Miller of Company G, 113th Ohio Voluntary Infantry. Private Miller is seen dressed in a four button sack coat and is wearing his cap with the visor turned up. His cartridge box is hanging from his side, and his US waist belt with attached cap box and empty bayonet scabbard are clearly visible. Miller holds his musket at his side, and has an Allen & Wheelock side hammer pistol lodged in his belt.

John Wesley Miller mustered into Company G of the 113th Ohio along with his brother Daniel Davis Miller, on August 13, 1862. Accompanying the image are two letters and the envelope from the second letter. The letters were addressed “Dear Brothers” and “Dear Brother” respectively, and were both signed by James Clark Jr.  Research with included documentation shows that James Clark Jr. (1836) was the only son of the Miller boys’ mother Jemima, from her first marriage to James Clark Sr., which took place on October 9, 1828. After the passing of her first husband, Jemima would remarry to John Henry Miller on November 6, 1840. The Millers would have nine children with Daniel (1842) and John (1844) being the eldest. Clark was living in the Miller home in Pleasant Township, Madison County, Ohio according to the 1850 Census.

The first letter, beginning with “Dear Brothers”, was written by James Clark Jr. on February 15, 1863. This letter mostly speaks of news from home such as weather, stock prices and general daily life. James Clark mentions reading a few letters written by the Miller boys to their parents, and acknowledges the news that Daniel was promoted to Corporal. He tells John to stay straight and he will be promoted as well and further instructs both boys to keep clean, follow orders and to be good soldiers in general so that they may be promoted to further officer positions.

The second letter, written on March 23, 1863, also written by James Clark Jr., is addressed to John, and begins with “Dear Brother”. Sadly, this letter was written on the very day that their brother Daniel D. Miller died of disease in Nashville, TN. By this time, John too was sick and in the hospital at Franklin, TN. There was obviously a letter that was previously written home where John mentioned the possibility of deserting the army. In the included reply, James admonishes his brother for having such thoughts and encourages him to remain strong, stay away from liquor and cards, and to do his soldierly duty despite the hardships. He closes the letter bluntly, telling John that he would like to see him at home, but never wants to see him again unless he comes home honorably. James’s final words to his brother likely forever haunted him, as within three weeks of writing this letter, his brother John would succumb to disease and never return home. He was buried in Stones River National Cemetery, Murfreesboro, TN.  [ph:L]

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