Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MILES, Dixon S., soldier, born in Maryland in 1804; died in Harper's Ferry, Virginia, 16 September, 1862. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1824, and assigned to the infantry. After serving as adjutant for five years, he was commissioned as captain, 8 June, ]836, and held a staff appointment as quartermaster during the Florida war and until the beginning of the war with Mexico. He was brevetted major for gallantry in the defence of Fort Brown, and lieutenant-colonel for brave conduct at Monterey, was promoted major on 16 February, 1847, and was commandant at Vera Cruz for four months, he was advanced to the grade of lieutenant-colonel on 15 April, 1851, commanded a column in the Gila expedition in 1857, and in the following year conducted an expedition against the Navajo Indians in New Mexico. He was made colonel of the 28th infantry on 19 January, 1859, was on duty at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1861, and after the beginning of the civil war ordered to the east, taking part in the defence of Washington, and commanding the reserve at the battle of Bull Run. After several months' leave of absence, he was given charge of a brigade guarding the Baltimore and Ohio railroad in March, 1862. In September he was intrusted with the command of the post of Harper's Ferry. He asked for re-enforce-men(s, but they were not sent. After Maryland heights had been evacuated by the force that was posted there, and when the enemy opened fire from commanding positions in two quarters, he offered no further resistance, but surrendered the post with 11,500 troops and arms, ammunition, and supplies. He was mortally wounded by the bursting of a shell after the capitulation.
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