John H. Miller was born on July 15, 1837 in Milo, Yates County, New York.
John left New York and had settled in western Michigan by 1860 when he was probably working as a mechanic working for and/or living with John E. Mann, a farmer in Montcalm, Montcalm County.
He stood 5’6” with hazel eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 24 years old and residing in Newaygo County when he enlisted in Company H on May 6, 1861. He was reported sick in the hospital from August through September of 1862, but eventually recovered. He reenlisted as a Corporal on December 24, 1863, crediting Muskegon, Muskegon County, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the Regiment on or about the first of February. He was transferred as a Sergeant to Company F, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.
John was taken prisoner along with Perry Crandall and William Wood, all of Company H, on June 22, 1864. John was confined for a time at Andersonville prison, and returned to the Regiment on May 16, 1865, near Washington, DC. He was mustered out on July 5, 1865, at Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Following the war John returned to Michigan. He was married to New York native Mary (b. 1849). By 1870 he was working as a raftsman andliving with his wife in Newaygo, Newaygo County. He eventually settled in White Cloud, Newaygo County, where he worked for many years as a farmer and blacksmith.
At some point John’s wife either divorced him or, more likely, died. By 1880 and 1890 he was living in Chase, Lake County (next door lived Harvey Briggs, formerly of Company F), and in 1908 he was drawing $12.00 for pension no. 1,059,222. That same year he was admitted to the Michigan Soldiers’ Home (no. 5369) on December 24, from White Cloud, but he was dropped on September 2, 1909.
John probably returned to his home in White Cloud where he died a widower of chronic nephritis and paralysis on July 5, 1910, and was buried in Prospect Hill cemetery, in White Cloud.