James Miller (quartermaster)

James Miller (quartermaster)

James Miller (born 1835 or 1836, date of death unknown) was a United States Navy sailor and a recipient of America's highest military decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the American Civil War.


Of Norwegian descent, Miller was born in Denmark and enlisted in the U.S. Navy from Massachusetts. Miller served aboard the steam gunboat Marblehead. During an engagement with Confederate forces on John's Island (near Legareville, South Carolina) by the Stono River on December 25, 1863, he continued to take soundings while under fire. For his conduct on this occasion, Quartermaster James Miller was awarded the Medal of Honor and promoted to Acting Master's Mate.

Medal of Honor citation

Quartermaster Miller's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

Served as quartermaster on board the U.S. Steam Gunboat Marblehead off Legareville, Stono River, December 25, 1863, during an engagement with the enemy on John's Island. Acting courageously under the fierce hostile fire, Miller behaved gallantly throughout the engagement which resulted in the enemy's withdrawal and abandonment of its arms.


The destroyer USS Miller (DD-535), which served in World War II and the Korean War, was named in his honor.

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