27 September 2008

Levi Miller

Several weeks ago, I was bidding for a postcard (pictured here) which featured Levi Miller. Miller was an African-American and slave from Rockbridge County, Virginia who served in the 5th Texas Infantry Regiment. He received a full Confederate pension years before the Virginia legislature ever enacted legislation allowing such pensions for black Confederates. See records here.

I set my limit at $55 but was outbid. The winning bid was $98.50 - for a postcard! Anyway, I was in Lexington last week on business and took some time to poke around one of the cemeteries (as I often do) and, while there, snapped this photo of Miller's tombstone.


















**Update: Thanks to fellow CW blogger Robert Moore for pointing out this information about Levi Miller's service in Professor Ervin Jordan's book about black Confederates. Very interesting. Click here. I had read this before, but could not recall where until Robert reminded me.

9 comments:

cenantua said...

Richard, Sorry to say, but the link didn't work. What year did he receive the pension? The only thing I find odd is that Virginia granted him the pension. I thought that one of the restrictions for receiving a pension from Virginia was that the soldier had to serve in a Virginia unit. That aside, how did he come to serve in the Fifth Texas? I can't find him listed in the Soldiers and Sailors database as having served in the Fifth Texas, but I do see that a Levi W. Miller served in the 5th Va. Cav.

Robert

Robert Moore said...

Richard,

Just a thought, but you might want to cite (link) the following as your first source:

http://books.google.com/books?id=366g6T8ADjkC&pg=PA196&lpg=PA196&dq=%22levi+miller%22+confederate&source=web&ots=tXpOoarJBy&sig=rT3aWBOtSQHW6Yq-ZZuazSTBNsY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

It's more reliable than the Library of Virginia site, though it would be nice to have that as well, a long as a person can get access to see the actual pension.

Robert Moore said...

Richard,

Do you know what company Miller served in? I see that his owner, John J. McBride, served in Co. C. I see a L.W. Miller listed as a private in Co. G, but I can't say for certain if this is Levi Miller. His pension should list the company.

Justin said...

Excellent find! Thanks for sharing!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Robert:

The link works fine from my end. I have more detailed info somewhere in my files, but I can't put my finger on them right away.

1902 I believe. One used to be able to enlarge the images at the Library of Virginia site, but you can't now and they're difficult for me to read.

The last record is a letter explaining the justification for the pension. I'll see what I can find later.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Justin.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Robert:

Company "O" of the 5th Texas Regiment is listed on his application paperwork. The other source says Company "C." The application could be a typo.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Robert:

Upon closer examination, it is "C" listed on the application. Sorry.

Robert Moore said...

No, no... no need for you to be sorry. LVA should have been more clean in their presentation of scanned material. Though the thought was to make available some great stuff, I have real issue with the poor quality. It defeats the original purpose.

Company C makes sense as it was the same company as his master, who was also the company commander.

This topic of Levi Miller has given me something to write about in two posts over the past two days. I'm curious now if all of the black Confederates who served as soldiers were ignored in the actual muster rolls or if there is an inconsistency in the rolls. It could impact my hypothesis.