- Existence: 1824-1894
James Miller (1824-1894) was born in Scotland. He immigrated to the United States by way of Canada. In September of 1851, he became a U.S. citizen. He was living in Pennsylvania and working as a master mechanic at that time. He later moved to Illinois and farmed near Channahon in Wills County. Miller helped raise Company G (Mechanics Fusiliers), 56th Illinois Volunteers. Because of a technicality, it was mustered out in January 1862. Miller then went to Cairo, Illinois and enlisted as a fireman in the Western Gunboat Flotilla of the Navy. On March 1, 1862, he was promoted to Chief Engineer. Discharged from the military in September 1865, Miller returned to Illinois and went to work as an engineer at the Joliet State Prison. In charge of all machinery, he served as chief engineer for twenty-five years. While there, he was responsible for the invention of certain improvements in feed water heaters and purifiers for boilers. He later invented an important part for blast furnaces.
Found in 1 Collection or Record:
Civil War naval engineer. Documents concerning his military service on Navy gunboats on the Mississippi River during the Civil War. Also includes materials relating to his mechanical inventions in the late 1880s.