Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MILLER, Henry, soldier, born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, 13 February, 1751; died in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 5 April, 1824. He received an English education, studied law, and about 1770 was admitted to the bar in York county, where, from 1772 until he joined the Continental army, he held the office of collector of the excise. He was an early and ardent advocate of the cause of the colonies, and on hearing the news from Lexington and Concord assisted in organizing a company, was commissioned 1st lieutenant, and reached Cambridge on 25 July, being the first to arrive from south of Long Island and west of the Hudson. With a portion of his company he succeeded in getting in the rear of the British sentries, and became engaged with the guard, killing several, and taking two prisoners, with the loss of one man. Shortly afterward he was promoted captain. He bore a conspicuous part in the battle of Long Island. In November, 1777, he was promoted major, and in 1778 he was appointed lieutenant-colonel commandant in the 2d Pennsylvania line, in which post he continued until he left the army. A companion-in-arms, writing in 1801 of him, says: " He must have risked his person in fifty or sixty conflicts." At Monmouth two horses were shot under him, but he mounted a third and continued in the thick of the fight. General James Wilkinson, in his memoirs, says that "Major Miller, of Hand's riflemen, was ordered by General Washington to check the rapid movements of the enemy in pursuit," while the patriot army was retreating across New Jersey, and the services of Miller on this occasion probably saved it from irreparable disaster. In 1779 he resigned his commission, on account of the straitened pecuniary circumstances of his family, which had arisen by reason of his long absence in the field. He was chosen high sheriff of York county in 1780, and held the office until 1783, when he was chosen to the legislature. He served there until 1785, and the next year was appointed prothonotary of the county and a justice of the peace and of the court of common pleas, which office he held until 1794, serving also in 1790 as a member of the Constitutional convention of the state. In 1794, under the requisition of the president for troops, on account of the dangers that were apprehended from the English on the western borders, he was made brigadier-general, and later in the same year he became quartermaster-general of the expedition to suppress the whiskey insurrection. Still later in that year he was appointed by Washington supervisor of the revenue for Pennsylvania, which office he held until Jefferson became president. He then removed to Baltimore, Maryland, where he engaged in mercantile pursuits. In the war of 1812 he was brigadier-general, in command of the militia at Baltimore, and charged with the defence of Fort McHenry and its dependencies. When the enemy left the Chesapeake, he retired from the army, and returned to Pennsylvania, where from 1821 until his death he was prothonotary of Perry county.
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