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First Name: James

Last Name: Miller

Birthplace: Peterborough, NH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Date of Birth: 25 April 1776

Date of Death: 07 July 1851

Rank: Brigadier General

Years Served:
James Miller

•  War of 1812


James Miller
Brevet Brigadier General, U.S. Army

James Miller was born on 25 April 1776 in Peterborough, NH.

During the War of 1812, Miller won recognition as the "Hero of Lundy's Lane." A lawyer, he took command of New Hampshire militia before the outbreak of war, but his abilities leading troops were soon noticed and he was commissioned a Major in the Regular Army. A short time later, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

Captured in 1813, he was soon exchanged and participated in major actions around the Great Lakes, including the capture of Fort Erie and the Battle of Chippawa. During the Battle of Niagara in 1814, in and around an area known as Lundy's Lane, the American commander, Major General Jacob Brown, ordered Miller, then commanding the 21st Infantry Regiment, to take a hill from which British artillery were raking American positions. Miller's replied, "I'll try, sir." With fewer than 300 men, he drove the British from the hill and captured their cannon. He held the position against counterattacks until the Americans withdrew to Fort Erie.

After the war, he was presented with a Gold Medal from the U.S. Congress emblazoned with, "I'll Try!" and brevetted the rank of Brigadier General. The medal was presented to him by Daniel Webster at City Hall Park in New York City. He was also presented a dress sword from the State of New York. He resigned his army commission in 1819 to accept appointment as the first Governor of the Territory of Arkansas.

By 1823, poor health forced him to return home to his farm in Temple, NH. In 1824, he was elected to the House of Representatives, but declined to accept the office. Instead, he accepted the post of Collector of Customs for the ports of Salem and Beverly, MA; a post he held for 24 years. He retired to his farm in Temple where he died. 

Death and Burial

Brigadier General James Miller died on 7 July 1851 in Temple, NH. He is buried at Harmony Grove Cemetery in Salem, MA.

Honoree ID: 2867   Created by: MHOH




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