submitted by Robert F. Commagere
A “First Family” of Macoupin County IL.
Rev. Alexander MILES was born on 8 Feb 1788 at Caswell, NC. He married Mary Irvin, daughter of William Irvin and Nancy Whitaker, circa 1813 at KY. He died on 21 May 1856 at Brighton Twp., Macoupin, IL, at age 68.
Notes: "Toward the close of the war of 1812 he enlisted in the forces raised by General Coffee for the assistance of General Jackson, and was in the battle of New Orleans.
He was farming in Logan county, Kentucky, till his removal to Illinois in 1832. On coming to this state he settled on the north-east quarter of section six, Brighton township, next to the Jersey county line. He lived there engaged in farming until his death in 1856.
During almost his entire life he had been a member of the Methodist church, in which he was deacon. He was a good citizen, and was held in respect for his many excellent qualities as a man and a neighbor." (From History of Macoupin County. 1879.).
i.Elizabeth M. MILES; born circa 1816 at Logan Co., KY. 1
ii. Jonathan Rice MILES (picture of Jonathan Rice Miles) was born on 17 Nov 1817 at Logan Co., KY. He married Elizabeth A. Stratton, daughter of Robertson Robinson Stratton and Nancy Miles, on 10 Aug 1844. He married Ella Vennetta on 14 Apr 1890 at Miles Station, Macoupin, IL. He was buried in Apr 1903 at Miles Station Cem, Macoupin, IL. He died on 1 Apr 1903 at Miles Station, Macoupin, IL, at age 85.
Colonel Miles was one of the most substantial citizens and estimable gentleman that has claimed Macoupin county for his home; brave, honest, patriotic, broad minded, God fearing, zealous. He was loved by all who knew him and his death is deeply regretted by every citizen who had an aquaintance with him.
Col. Miles was the second oldest in a family of eight children. He was born November 17, 1817 in Logan county, Kentucky, five miles from Russellville, having migrated to Macoupin county with his father in 1832.
When he first came to Brighton township the nearest school was at Alton, but a year or two after their arrival a log school-house was erected in which the children of the neighborhood were taught the elementary branches of an education. He had previously attended school some little time in Kentucky, and when about nineteen, had the benefit of instruction for a short period at Alton; but for his acquirements in the way of an English education, he is mostly indebted to his own efforts. In 1837, when about twenty years old, he began improving the farm on which he lived, in section eight of Brighton township; his home, however, was with his father until his marriage, which took place on the 10th of August 1844, to Eliza A. Stratton, daughter of Robertson Stratton. (Mrs. Miles was born March 28, 1826, in Robertson county, Tennessee, where her father died; her ancestors were from Virginia, and were early settlers of that part of Tennessee.) Jonathan engaged in farming, which vocation his father Alexander followed until his death in 1856.
Following the death of his father the son took up the pursuit, and began to improve the farm, continuing the same until1853. He continued to farm and engaged in the mercantile business in what was known as Providence, a new town located on his farm about two miles northeast of Brighton, since known as Miles in honor of this citizen. His business was quite extensive, he having dealt largely in grain, and in 1856 became identified with the firm of Gilbert, Miles and Stanard, of St. Louis, in which capacity he remained until the breaking out of the war, when a branch was established in Chicago. His partners were Charles E. Gilbert, and Ex- Gov. E. O. Stanard, of St. Louis. In 1858 a large flouring mill was erected at the little station costing $23,000, in which he was largely interested. This partnership terminated in 1861, when the Colonel became more interested in the welfare of his country than in his personal affairs.
He at once began the work of raising a company, and tendered his services to President Lincoln. August 10, 1861 he enlisted in the 27th Ill. Inf., becoming captain of Co. F. His career in the army is as interesting as it was gallant, his promotions being rapid on account of his superior worth and natural military environments. He was mustered in a Camp Butler, and after two or three days' stay at Jacksonville, his regiment was moved to Cairo. He took a gallant part in the battle of Belmont, Mo. where Grant came so near being captured. The 27th Illinois was the first regiment to enter Columbus, Kentucky, after its evacuation by the rebels, and the first to take possession if Island No. 10 after its capture. On the organization of the army into Corps the regiment was placed in the 1st Brigade, 1st Division of the 20th Corps. His first promotion was to the rank of Major, on the 10th of December, 1861; his commission was dated January 31, 1862. He was at Fort Pillow, and was turned back from that point after the battle of Shiloh, and took part in the siege of Corinth, having received his commission as Lieutenant-Colonel April 24, 1862. From Corinth the regiment moved along the line of the Memphis & Charleston railroad, and in September, 1862, arrived at Nashville.
It participated in the battle of Stone River while he was home on a short furlough, but he afterward assisted in driving the Confederate General Bragg out of Tennessee. He was also in the battle of MissionaryRidge, Chickamauga, and aided in the relief of Burnsides at Knoxville. The 27th Illinois was transferred in 1863 to the 2d Division of the 4th Corps, of which it formed a part till the close of its service. He was commissioned colonel January 1, 1863. While stationed at Cleveland, Tennessee, less than ninety days before the expiration of his three years' term of service, he resigned his commission; reasons connected with his business and his family requiring his immediate presence in Illinois. January 1, 1872, he was commissioned colonel. In the history of Illinois regiments the 27th has always been given very high rank for proficiency in discipline and efficiency in active service of which the Colonel was justly proud. From the nine hundred men and upwards with which the regiment went into the war, it was reduced by hard fighting and exposure to one-third that number. The regiment loved their gallant commanding officer whose military career was most brilliant, as his rapid promotion would indicate. This is not to be wondered at since he inherited military qualities, his grandfather being a soldier in the Continental army, and his father was with Jackson in New Orleans.
Col. Miles lived a retired life for many years, occupying a commodious but modest home in the quiet little village that bears his name, contenting himself with his farming interests. In all of his long business career he was known as a thorough, competent, honest and able man, and was held in the highest esteem by all. He was a consistent and zealous member of the M.E. church, and loved the service of his Master. Politically he was a Republican and defended its principles when it meant much to do so, being identified with the Whig party previous to the organization of the Republican party. He had three children; Charlotte, wife of James Moffat; Samuel, who was engaged in the mercantile business at Brighton; and Frank.
iii.Martha Ann MILES, born circa 1819 at Logan Co., KY; married John Andrews on 18 Jul 1837.
iv.William F. P. MILES; born circa 1822; married Lydia A. Williamson 7 Aug 1864 at Litchfield Montgomery, IL. 2 It has not been proven that this particular William MILES married Lydia WILLIAMSON.
v.Alexander G. MILES, born circa 1825 at Logan Co., KY; married Lucy E. Andrews circa 1857.
vi.Mary Irvin MILES; born circa 1827.
vii.Daniel MILES; born circa 1828 at Logan Co., KY; married Susan Haycraft 15 Oct1850 at Macoupin Co., IL. 3 It has not been proven that Daniel is the son of Alexander and Mary MILES.
viii.Francis Marion MILES, born 2 Apr 1830 at Logan Co., KY; he married Mary Serene Clinton, daughter of David Clinton and Jane Butler, on 8 Apr 1863 at Litchfield, Montgomery, IL. 14 He died on 16 Dec 1895 at Rice, Stevens, WA, at age 65. 13 Occupation: Note Broker.
ix.George W. MILES; born 5 Aug 1832 at Brighton Twp., Macoupin, IL; 4 married Adelaide Jameson 6 Apr 1864 at Litchfield, Montgomery, IL; 5 married Emma Jameson (--?- -) 29 Sep 1897 at Twin Bridges, Madison, MT; 6 died 6 Jun 1911 at Auburn, Placer, CA, at age 78; 7 buried 7 Jun 1911 at Auburn, Placer, CA. 8 George W. MILES was enrolled in Cairo, IL as a Private in Co. H, 9th Regiment of the Illinois Infantry on May 28, 1861. He was honorably discharged at Cairo, IL on July 26, 1861. He was described as 5' 10" tall, fair complexion, with blue eyes and brown hair. His places of residence after leaving the service were Litchfield, IL to 1867; Kansas City to 1890; Montana to 1898; and California until his death in 1911.
Bibliography Riley, Alice, Bailey, Rice Allied Families (n.p.: private pub., 1956, n.d.). __________________________________________________________________________
1. Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina. 1985.
2. Montgomery Co., Marriage Records 1851-1870.
3. Macoupin County Illinois Marriage Records Index. 1846-1851.
4. Civil War Pension Application Papers.
5. Montgomery Co., Marriage Records 1851-1870.
6. Civil War Pension Application Papers.
7. Civil War Pension Application Papers.
8. Death Certificate.
13. Stevens Co., WA Tombstone Inscriptions. Pub by EWGS. 1976.
14. Marriage Record.
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