GREAT PHOTO-WEARING HIS CIVIL WAR MEDAL OF HONOR
Nelson Appleton Miles was born in 1839 and in his early years lived in Westminster, Massachusetts, literally just over the hill were I write this from.
Miles served throughout the Civil War in various regiments, raising in rank for Lieutenant to Major General. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry in action at Chancellorsville, Va in 1863 while colonel of the 61st New York Volunteer Infantry.
He continued to serve in the Indian Wars first as colonel of the 40th U.S. Infantry then the 5th Regiment. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 1880. He saw service in the Spanish American War and lead the Invasion on Puerto Rico. Miles, having reached the mandatory age of 64 retired from the army in 1903 as a Lt. General.
General Miles was the last “Commanding General of the Army” as the army adopted the Chief of Staff system. When WWI broke out, Miles volunteered his services, but President Woodrow Wilson declined his offer. He died in Washington, D.C. in 1925 at 85 years of age. He was one of the oldest surviving general officers to have served as a general in the Civil War on either side.
The uniform Miles is wearing in the photo is of the 1902 period with a good deal of license added, Miles being a general officer of note. Looking every bit the boss-man and wearing the MOH prominently from the neck, highlighted by the buff general officer’s sash. The autographed note reads, ” Mr. James Otis Leman, With the compliments and best wishes of Nelson A. Miles, Lt. General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C., April 18th, 1922. The photographer is RICE, and copyrighted 1900.
Photo quality is excellent. The autograph in blue ink is faded some, but clearly legible. The photo is lifting a bit on the edges as the glass broke at some point in its life, and has been exposed to the elements. This is the original framing, however backing is gone and loose. You get it as it came.
An important military image and signature from a great American general.