Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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MILES, Nelson Appleton, soldier, born in Westminster, Massachusetts, 8 August, 1839. He received an academic education, and was engaged in mercantile pursuits in Boston when the civil war began. On 9 September, 1861, he entered the volunteer service as lieutenant in the 22d Massachusetts infantry, and was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the 61st New York volunteers, to date from 31 May, 1862. He was engaged in the battles of the peninsula, before Richmond, and at Antietam, and on 30 September was made colonel of his regiment. Colonel Miles fought in all the battles of the Army of the Potomac with one exception up to the surrender of Lee at Appomattox Court-House, Virginia, and was wounded three times. He received the brevet of brigadier-general of volunteers for gallantry at Chancellorsville, and was advanced to the full rank on 12 May, 1864, for his services at, the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania Court-House. On 25 August, 1864, he was brevetted major-general of volunteers for his conduct throughout the Richmond campaign and valuable service at Ream's Station. He was commissioned major-general on 21 October, 1865, and mustered out of volunteer service on 1 September, 1866, after receiving, on 28 July, an appointment in the regular army as colonel of the 40th infantry. On 2 March, 1867, the brevets of brigadier-general and major-general, United States army, were conferred on him for bravery at Chancellorsville and Spottsylvania. He was transferred to the 5th infantry on 15 March, 1869, defeated the Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Comanche Indians on the borders of the Staked Plains in 1875, and in 1876 subjugated the hostile Sioux and other Indians in Montana, driving Sitting Bull across the Canada frontier, and breaking up the bands that were led by him and by Crazy Horse, Lame Deer, Spotted Eagle, Broad Trail, Hump, and others. ll September he captured the Nez Perces under Chief Joseph in northern Montana, and in 1878 captured a band of Bail-nooks near the Yellowstone park. He was commissioned brigadier-general of the United States army on 15 December, 1880, commanded for five years the Department of the Columbia, in July, 1885, assigned to the command of the Department of the Missouri, and in April, 1886, was transferred to Arizona. After a difficult campaign against the Apaches under Geronimo and Natchez, he compelled those chiefs to surrender. 4 September, 1886. He deemed it advisable, in the interest of the future tranquillity of the Indians, to accept a conditional surrender from Geronimo, agreeing that neither the chief nor any of his lieutenants should suffer death for their past crimes. He received the thanks of the legislatures of Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, and Arizona for services in the west, and the citizens of Arizona presented to General Miles a sword of honor at Tucson on 8 November, 1887, in the presence of a large gathering of citizens of the territory.
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