Minos Miller Letters, 1860-1866

The Minos Miller letters are a collection of correspondence written by Miller to his mother, Martha Hornaday, in Indiana. Miller served in the 36th Iowa Infantry, and his letters home describe the strange and often life altering events that he experiences in the Arkansas. Miller spent his first six months in the Union Army at Camp Lincoln, near Keokuk, Iowa. His early letters are particularly detailed with regard to camp layout, operation, and the monotony of drilling and the “finery” of dress parade.

The 36th Iowa Infantry eventually traveled southward toward Helena, Arkansas, stopping in St. Louis at Benton Barracks. While stationed at Helen, Arkansas, Miller resigned from the 36th Iowa Infantry, and accepted a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Arkansas Infantry (African Descent). He wrote about the condition and development of the African American soldiers in his letters home. Miller participated in the Battle of Helena on July 4, 1863, and described the Battle to his mother. The remainder of the War, Miller served in support capacity, stationed at Pine Bluff, Little Rock, and Fort Smith, Arkansas. At the end of the War, when Miller was finally eligible for discharge, he elected to continue his career as a military officer. Miller’s letters tell a remarkable story, and provide a rare glimpse of life in the Ozarks during the Civil War.

Contributed by the University of Arkansas Libraries Special Collections
Manuscript Collection MS M58

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