Home | Overview | Battle Maps | Participants | ORs | Exhibits | Bibliography
Site Logo: Click to go to the Home page
N.A. Miles
N.A. Miles

Federal (USA)

Lieutenant Colonel

Nelson Appleton Miles

(1839 - 1925)
Home State: Massachusetts
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 61st New York Infantry

see his Battle Report


Before the Antietam Campaign:
Pre-War he was a Boston store clerk and night school student. In September 1861 he was commissioned 1st Lt. in the 22nd Massachusetts Regiment. In May 1862 he was appointed LCol of the 61st New York. He served on O.O. Howard's staff in the Peninsula campaign, and was wounded while leading reinforcements to the 61st NY at Seven Pines.

In the Antietam Campaign:
He led the consolidated 61st and 64th NY Regiments, part of the 1st Brigade/First Division of Richardson's Second (II) Corps, after Col Barlow was wounded on Piper's Farm on the afternoon of the 17th.

The remainder of the War:
On September 30, 1862 he was promoted Colonel, and continued to lead his Regiment at Fredericksburg (wounded) and Chancellorsville (wounded - Medal of Honor). He commanded the 1st Brigade/1st Division/Second (II) Corps at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor. In May 1864 he was appointed BGen. of Volunteers, and fought at Petersburg (wounded), commanded the 1st Division/II Corps in the Appomattox campaign, and in October 1865 was promoted Maj. Gen. of Volunteers.

After the War:
He continued in the Army, initially as Colonel (RA). He was criticized (unjustly?) for his custody of Jefferson Davis at Fortress Monroe and he was an "Indian fighter" in the West. He was promoted to BGen USA in 1880, MGen in 1890, and LGen in 1900. He was commander in chief of the Army from 1895 (through the Spanish-American War) until he retired in 1903.

He was the last surviving full-rank Major General from the Civil War.

References, Sources, and other notes:
His photograph from a CDV offered for sale by Heritage Auctions in 2014.

More on the Web:
For another brief biography and his formal portrait (as Army Chief of Staff) see also Nelson Appleton Miles at the US Army's Center for Military History.

Birth Date: 8/8/1839    Place of Birth: Westminster, MA    
Death Date: 5/15/1925    Death Place: Washington, DC    

« Search for Another Participant