Wells Waite Miller

Enfield, New York

The Miller family—Amos, Emily, Lodowick, and Wells Waite—moved to Castalia, Ohio in 1852. During the first ten years of young Wells’s life, however, the family lived in the rural town of Enfield, New York. According to Enfield historian, Sue Thompson, the area was settled by John Giltner and Judah Baker in 1804. Registered as a town in November 1820 and officially registered with New York on March 16, 1821, thirty-six lots existed: the southern part of a military township lot (number 22, Ulysses). So, what does that mean, exactly? Going back further in time (July 3, 1790), Revolutionary War veterans

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Erie County, Ohio for Congress!

Erie County, Ohio: A Conversation About Politics On October 1, 1894, the Sandusky Register shares information about people being considered for a run in Congress—and Wells Waite Miller was part of this conversation. It will take a bit of introduction, though, to get to his involvement. In a piece titled “Erie County in Congress,” the newspaper notes how the county’s last representative in the halls of Congress was General William D[ell] Lindsley. Born on December 25, 1812 in New Haven, Connecticut where he attended common schools, Lindsley moved to Buffalo, New York in 1832, and then near Sandusky, Oho. He

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Ohio Antietam Battlefield Commission

Ohio Antietam Battlefield Commission In 1904, D. Cunningham and Wells Waite Miller published this report, and I was reminded of this publication while reading Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War by Brian Matthew Jordan. In this book, he dispels myths about Union soldiers returning home at the war’s end and shares post-war experiences common among them. As I read his book, I realized how many of them described actions that Wells took. For example, he tried to stay in the military, post-war; he served in the Invalid Corps after his injuries, but he was not accepted into

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Calvin Caswell

Calvin Caswell played a significant role in the life of Wells Waite Miller (the Civil War soldier whose life I’m researching). Calvin was his father-in-law—and the two of them seemed to be quite close, so it made sense to research Calvin’s life. Plus, he is a fascinating man all by himself. Tribute to Calvin Caswell In his obituary in the Sandusky Daily Register, it notes the following: “As a private citizen, as a father, a husband, a counseller and friend, Mr. Caswell was ever loving, kind, helpful and generous. Himself pure in thought and purpose, he suffered no morally loose

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Wells Waite Miller Overview

In June 2018, I decided to pick a forgotten Civil War soldier, doing so pretty randomly, and then try to reconstruct his life and his world as fully as possible. Wells Waite Miller came from a farming background and attended Oberlin Preparatory School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in the spring of 1861 in response to President Abraham Lincoln’s call for men. He fought in the heat of the battle at Antietam without injury and was badly wounded at Gettysburg during what’s now called “Pickett’s Charge.” He went on to become a noted agriculturalist and businessman, serving as the

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A Look at Lodowick G. Miller

Over the past few years, I’ve done a deep dive into the life of Wells Waite Miller, a forgotten Civil War hero. Although I’ve found more information about him than I originally anticipated, I’m far from done—and, in this post, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about his brother, Lodowick. He also fought for the U.S. Army during the Civil War but came to a more tragic end. The parents of Lodowick and Wells—Amos and Emily (Graves) Miller—had five children in total, but three of them died in a very short period of time at far too young of

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Oberlin Years: Fierce Debates About Abolitionism

When Wells Waite Miller (b. February 20, 1842) was a child and teenager, “the debate over slavery raged in the nation’s political institutions and its public places.” Because this post is part of an ongoing blog series about the life and times of a forgotten Civil War hero—Wells Waite —I want to know what the Miller family thought about the slavery question. If they had any abolitionist leanings, did they put their beliefs into practice? Unfortunately, I haven’t found direct evidence one way or the other (which doesn’t mean that I won’t speculate). What is clear: the region in which they chose

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Glory Days to Invalid Corps

After suffering from serious wounds at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1863 in what’s now called Pickett’s Charge, Captain Wells Waite Miller of the 8th OVI faced a long recovery. As the previous blog post in this saga shows, several months later, he still required medical care. On January 8, 1864, Miller received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army. Clearly, he wasn’t in fighting shape. So what was next for this 21-year-old man? Invalid Corps On March 5, 1864 (just two weeks after his 22nd birthday), Miller was “allowed to appear before a Board of Officers at Indianapolis, Ind.

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Pickett’s Charge and 43 Bonus Years

On July 3, 1863 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the U.S. (Union) and Confederate forces clashed, horrific fighting that served as the culmination of a three-day battle that many historians consider a turning point in the Civil War. In the the heat of the fierceness? Captain Wells Waite Miller. Slaughter at Gettysburg Nearly one in three men at Gettysburg suffered wounds or died in the fighting. More specifically: The United States forces lost 28 percent of their soldiers who were at Gettysburg while the Confederates lost more than 37 percent. Fatalities included 3,155 Union men and 3,903 Confederates. As far as injuries, 14,529

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Castalia Massacre

“ . . . a most barbarous massacre occurred at the head of Cold creek, now Castalia. There were living there at this time the families of Snow, Butler and Putnam, and a girl named Page. Snow had erected on Cold Creek, a grist mill in which he usually kept corn; this the Indians continued to steal in the night time. Snow, to stop this thieving, laid the boards of the floor leading from, the embankment to the mill in such a way, that when trod upon they would give way and let the Indians through. The Indians being caught

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