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, John Franklin, senator, born in South Bend, Indiana, 21 November, 1831" died in Washington, D. C., 8 March, 1886. He was educated in the academies of his native state, graduated at the New York state law-school in 1852, and began practice in South Bend, Indiana The failure of his health induced him to spend the next three years in California, but he returned in 1855, resumed his profession, and took an active part in the Republican presidential canvass of 1856. He was a member of the state senate in 1860, but resigned to enter the army, and, after serving on the governor's staff as colonel, was in command of the 29th regiment of Indiana volunteers. He was engaged from the beginning of hostilities in the west. At the battle of Stone river he charged at the head of a brigade across the river, drove Gen John C. Breckinridge from his position, and received a bullet-wound in his neck. For his gallantry in this action he was promoted brigadier-general of volunteers In the battle of Liberty Gap he made another charge with his brigade, and at the moment of victory was severely wounded in the eye He commanded a division of 8,000 men on the left at the battle of Nashville, and was brevetted major-general of volunteers in 1865. At the close of the war he was offered a colonel's commission in the regular army, but declined, settled in San Francisco, and for four years was collector of the port. He then engaged in business, and was an originator and president of the Alaska commercial fur company, in which he amassed a large fortune. He was a Republican presidential elector in 1872, 1876, and 1880, a member of the California constitutional convention in 1879, and was elected to the United States senate as a Republican in January, 188l, serving from the following March until his death. He was a member of the senate committees on foreign relations and naval affairs in the 47th congress, and in the 48th and 49th chairman of the former, and a member of that on civil service and retrenchment.
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