Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bovina in the Civil War - Soldier Biographies IX

Berry S. Miller and Gilbert D. 'Gib' Miller were the sons of Scottish natives William and Isabella Miller, growing up in Bovina.  They enlisted in September 1864 in Company E of the 144th New York Volunteers as privates.  At the time of his enlistment, Berry was five feet nine inches tall, with blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion.  Brother Gib was similiarly described, except his hair was described as light.  The brothers  mustered out with their company in June 1865 at Hilton Head, SC.  Berry was plagued by illness from his service in the war, suffering from neuralgia, rheumatism and deafness in one ear.  He married Kate Elliott Oliver in 1866 and they settled in Bovina.  Kate died in 1892.  Berry survived her by 14 years, moving in with his brother Gib.  He died in 1906 and is buried in the Bovina Cemetery.  Gib also was plagued by illness after the war, in his case, chronic diarrhea.  In 1869, he married Mary Jane Banker.  He was active in the England Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Civil War Veterans' organization, until it was disbanded.  In his later years, the American Legion would supply a car to bring him to services honoring his fallen war comrades.  "Gib" Miller has the distinction of being Bovina's last surviving 'old soldier.'  He died on March 13, 1931 in Oneonta from the effects of a fall a few days previously.

Francis W. Miller was born in 1847, the son of James and Agnes Coulter Miller.  He enlisted in February 1864 as a private.  He was 17, but claimed to be 18.  Two months after he enlisted, Francis died in Martinsburgh, Virginia of disease (probably typhoid, but the records do not specify).  He has the distinction of being Bovina's youngest Civil War fatality.

James K. Mills was born in Connecticut in 1843 but by 1850 was living with his parents in Bovina.  James enlisted in the 8th New York Battery as a private in October 1861.  When he enlisted, he was a farmer and had hazel eyes, black hair, a florid complexion and was 5 ft 7 1/2 inches tall. He was paid a bounty of $350.  He re-enlisted in November 1863 and was discharged in 1865.  Settling in Pepacton in the Town of Colchester, he married Nancy Liddle in 1867 and had 11 children.  James died in September 1903 in Colchester.

James Murphy's
connection with Bovina is pretty tenuous, though he appears on the official listing of Bovina's soldiers created in 1865.  James spent most of his life in Andes.  Born in Ireland in 1843, he came to America in 1856 with his parents, Luke and Anastasia Murphy.  He enlisted in the 144th New York Volunteers in August 1864 and mustered out with his company in June 1865 in Hilton Head, SC.  He settled in Andes working as a farm laborer.  He moved to Arkville late in life to live with his sister-in-law and died there in December 1929.  He is buried in Rondout.

Patrick G. Murphy was born in Ireland in 1842 and was in Bovina in the 1860s.  He enlisted in 1862 and was paid a bounty payment of $150.  At the time of his enlistment, he was 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and black hair.  He joined the 144th New York volunteers and mustered out with his company in June 1865.  After the war, Patrick headed west, settling in Colorado.  He was widowed by 1910 and living in Rio Grande County, Colorado in the Soldiers and Sailors Home.  He was still living there a decade later, but further information concerning when he died is lacking.

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