In the summer of 2018, I began the in-depth process of researching the life of Wells Waite Miller, a man who played a key role on July 3, 1863 as Captain of the 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His actions, and those of the men who fought with him, are increasingly being seen as a crucial element in the battle now known as Pickett’s Charge, and in the Battle of Gettysburg, overall.
As part of this research, I would find tantalizing scraps of information about an older brother named Lodowick—and what I found (and what I was given by retired teacher and history/research buff, Bill Molina) would play a role in Lodowick’s name being entered into official Civil War records, allowing him to receive the recognition, honor and dignity that he deserves (more about that later in the post). Because Lodowick died on March 30, 1862, I’m publishing this post on March 30, 2020.
Born in 1830 in New York, Lodowick was listed as a farmer in the 1850 census.
He came to Castalia, Ohio in 1852 with his parents, Amos and Emily (Graves) Miller, and his younger brother, Wells, who was born on February 20, 1842. Sadly, three of Lodowick’s siblings had already died, perhaps during a cholera epidemic: Delia (1835-January 30, 1841); Helen (October 7, 1836-February 5, 1841); and Amos (June 26, 1838-February 6, 1841).
Life in Erie County, Ohio
Amos Miller bought a farm in Castalia, one that was still in the family more than 100 years later. But, in 1860, Lodowick (who had named his occupation in 1850 as “farmer”) was listed in the census as having “erratic” employment. Why he wasn’t working on the family farm or elsewhere, I don’t (yet) know.
Shortly after that, Lodowick married Mrs. Sarah Fleming. The marriage contract was “solemnized” on March 6, 1861 and the wedding date was May 18, 1861.
Lodowick Enlists: 72nd OVI
He enlisted in the 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company A, in January 1862 for a three-year term of service. Only a couple of short months later, though, he died. He was “at hospital” at Camp Shiloh, dying on March 30, 1862, just a week before the Shiloh Battle commenced.
As the image indicates, his wife was awarded a widow’s pension of $8 a month, which was fairly typical. In his military records, his cause of death was listed as typhoid fever.
Fast Forward to 2020
On March 9, 2020, I was giving a presentation about Wells Waite Miller at Lorain County Community College for the Quincy Gillmore Civil War Roundtable. During it, I shared what I knew about Lodowick. On March 13, I heard from Bill Stark, the Graves Registration Officer, James A. Garfield Camp 142, of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. He had questions about Lodowick that, fortunately, I was able to answer.
By combining what he knew about Lodowick (and what question marks still surrounded Civil War soldiers from the 72nd OVI) with what I knew about Lodowick and Wells, and what Bill Molina found out about them and then shared with me, Lodowick’s information can now be entered into the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Graves Registration Database.
This group is still working hard to identify unknown soldiers, both Union and Confederate, from the Civil War. And, it seems quite likely that Lodowick is the last “unknown soldier” from the 72nd OVI at Shiloh.
So, on the 158th anniversary of his death, I am honored to speak the name of Lodowick G. Miller. Thank you for your service!