Joseph Miller (1) was born in 1839 in Coblenz, Prussia.
Joseph immigrated to America and eventually settled in Michigan by the time the war broke out.
He stood 5’5” with brown eyes and hair and a dark complexion and was 22 years old and probably a farmer in Clinton County when he enlisted in Company C on May 13, 1861. (Company C was made up largely of German and Dutch immigrants, many of whom lived on the west side of the Grand River in Grand Rapids. This company was the descendant of the old Grand Rapids Rifles, also known as the “German Rifles,” a prewar local militia company composed solely of German troopers.)
He was reported as “off-duty” beginning on April 25, 1862, and he may very well have remained “off-duty” through September when he was listed sick in the hospital. He allegedly deserted on October 23 at Edward’s Ferry, Maryland, when in fact, he was still in the hospital. He was discharged on December 9, 1862, at Portsmouth Grove, Rhode Island, for “spinal irritation, attacks of quickened respiration sometimes as often as 140/minute.”
Joseph returned to Clinton County where he reentered the service in L company, First Michigan Light Artillery on February 4, 1864, at Westphalia for 3 years, crediting Westphalia, and was mustered on February 5 at Corunna, Shiawassee County. He probably joined the battery at the Cumberland Gap where it remained on duty until June 27 when it was moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where it remained until August of 1865. He was absent sick in Knoxville, Tennessee on October 25, and allegedly deserted from the hospital on November 15, 1864. He surrendered himself to authorities on April 18, 1865, under the President’s proclamation of amnesty and was discharged on May 15, 1865, at Madison, Wisconsin.
There is no further record.
In 1890 he applied for and received a pension (no. 1042774).