Sept. 17, 1862


The Accidental Death of Col. Dixon S. Miles.

August 25, 2002

We publish elsewhere a statement from the Washington Star, which mentions the surrender of Harper's Ferry by the Federal forces under Acting Brigadier General Dixon S. Miles. It is further stated that General Miles was mortally wounded.

We regret to add to this announcement that a gentleman who reached this city last night from Frederick brings the intelligence of Gen. Miles' death, the result of an unfortunate accident.

It appears that the command of Gen. Miles surrendered at nine o'clock on Monday morning, and that about an hour afterwards a shell accidentally exploded. a part of the shell first struck the lower portion of Gen. M.'s left leg, which was badly fractured. It then glanced, and striking the upper part of the right leg, also shattered it severely, rendering the General immediately insensible.

It was, unfortunately, a long time before reaction ensued, so that it was late in the evening before amputation, rendered absolutely necessary, could be resorted to.

During a late hour in the evening, however, both legs were amputated, but the General died from the effects yesterday morning.

The intelligence of his decease will be received in this city (where his family have resided for many years) with profound regret.

He was a brave and gallant officer, and a generous and warm-hearted friend.

His remains, it is expected, will reach this city this morning.

General Miles was a native of Maryland, from which state he was appointed a cadet in 1819. He was nearly sixty years of age, and graduated on the 30th of June, 1824, standing No. 27 in a class of thirty-one members.

Among his classmates were several noted men, some of whom have figured in the senatorial halls; others have died in battle.

On the first day of July, 1824, he was appointed a brevet second lieutenant of the Fourth United States Infantry and on the same day was made full second lieutenant of the Seventh Infantry. He held the important position of regimental adjutant from 1831 to 1836, having, on the 30th of April, 1833, been promoted to a first lieutenancy. On the 8th of June, 1836, he was further promoted to a captaincy. On the 16th of January, 1839, he was made an assistant quartermaster, with the rank of captain, on the staff. his commission he, however, resigned on the 30th of September, 1845.

On the 9th of May, 1846, he was brevetted major for gallant and distinguished conduct in the defense of Fort Brown, Texas. He was further brevetted lieutenant colonel with rank dating from September 23, 1846, for gallant and meritorious conduct in the several conflicts at Monterey, Mexico, on the 21st, 22d and 23d of September, 1846. On February 16th, 1874, he was promoted to the majority of the 5th infantry. On the 15th of April, 1851, he was further promoted to the lieutenant colonelcy of the 3d infantry, having previously in July, 1848, held the position of military and civil governor of Jalapa, Mexico.

He commanded the So. Gila expedition, and became distinguished in the conflict with the Coyotora and Magollon Apaches of New Mexico, on the 27th of June, 1857, and in several conflicts with the Navajoes, New Mexico, during the month of September, 1858.

On the 19th of January, 1859, he was again promoted to the colonelcy of the 2d infantry, his commission dating from January 19, 1859.

He held the command of the fifth division at Bull Run, and successfully covered the retreat of the Union army. For some time past, he has commanded the Federal troops at Harper's Ferry, and bravely defended the place until Monday morning, when he was forced to surrender.

Promotion: Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel R. Paul, of the 8th U.S, Infantry, has been appointed a brigadier general by the President for gallantry and valuable services in expelling the rebel Texans from the territory of New Mexico. Gen. Paul has been assigned to duty with Gen. Casey.

Fighting Family: Mr. and Mrs. Paul Twombly, of Gilmarton, N.H., have five sons in the army, and six grandsons. Their oldest son John, with all five of his boys, have also enlisted. Mr. Paul Twombly is 93 years of age, and is still in good health.

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