Posted tagged ‘Spanish-American War’

Henry L. Miller, Lost at Belleau Wood

October 29, 2010

He was supposed to be a farmer, like his father.  But when the United States entered the Great War, Henry L. Miller felt a patriotic duty to join the fight.  Henry enlisted in Co. M, 49th Infantry of the regular Army, on July 26, 1917.  Soon thereafter, he transferred into Co. M, 23rd Infantry, 2nd Division and began training in Syracuse.  Little more than one month later, young Miller shipped overseas.

Henry L. Miller was born in Perinton, New York, on April 23, 1895, but moved to Pittsford, New York, at an early age.  The third child of Charles and Reka Miller, he was their first son.  Three more daughters and another son, Norman, later joined the Miller family.  Dorothy, Henry’s youngest sibling, was just 9 years old when he went overseas.  She must have been so proud of her big brother.  Henry no doubt smiled as he received the packages of letters from his sisters and brother which sporadically reached him somewhere in France.

The letters Henry wrote home most likely inspired both pride and fear in his parents.  Henry wrote of life at the front.  He mentioned the six weeks he had spent in the trenches before being allowed a short period of rest.  He talked of going “over the top” of the trenches to pitch headlong into the thick, German artillery fire.  Somehow, Henry managed to survive.  Then came Belleau Wood.

On June 6, 1918, the Marines stationed with the 23rd Infantry sustained casualties of 31 officers and nearly 1,100 men.  The 23rd Infantry also lost many good men, including Henry L. Miller.  Four weeks after the Battle of Belleau Wood, the Miller family received official notification that Henry was missing in action.  It took another three weeks before Charles and Reka Miller were formally notified that their son, Private Henry L. Miller, had died at Belleau Wood on June 6.  Henry was buried in France and would remain there for three long years until his parents could bring him back to Pittsford.

Henry L. Miller

“Hero’s Body Arrives” touted the local papers.  Henry L. Miller was home.  On September 11, 1921, the remains of Henry Miller were interred at Pittsford Cemetery.  He was laid to rest beside his grandparents, Henry and Elizabeth Lussow Mueller.  The military honor guard that oversaw the burial were members of a one-year old American Legion Post known as Rayson-Miller Post 899, so named after Homer Rayson, who was killed in action in October, 1918, and Henry L. Miller.  This year, the Rayson-Miller Post celebrated their 90th anniversary. 

The Miller family of Pittsford has a proud history of military service.  Beginning back in the Civil War when Henry’s grandfather, Henry L. Mueller, fought for the Union with the 8th NY Cavalry, the Millers have had over 15 family members serve in the armed forces.  These Miller men have served in the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korea and in the Persian Gulf.  Something tells me Henry L. Miller would be extremely proud of such a legacy.

Pittsford Cemetery Tour – Saturday, May 15, 2010 – 10:00 a.m.

May 11, 2010

Pittsford Cemetery Cannon and Flagpole

Pittsford Cemetery Tour – Saturday, May 15, 2010 – 10:00 a.m.

 

As I prepare for my upcoming tour of Pittsford Cemetery in Pittsford, New York, I am constantly amazed at the incredible lives led by the people who lived in our own neighborhoods.  Today, few Pittsford residents know the names of Major Harvey E. Light or John Buckley Bacon.  Yet these men were instrumental in shaping Pittsford into the village it is today.

On this year’s tour, we will once again discuss Harvey Light and John Bacon.  The Ambrose boys will also feature prominently.  Their rich Civil War history is too interesting to forget.  We will speak of some new soldiers as well.  The stories of Henry L. Mueller and his descendants, who fought in the Spanish-American War and World War I, will be told.  You’ll hear of Monroe County, New York’s “most decorated soldier” of World War II, Franklin Clarke Retchless, Jr.

Our tour begins Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. in the Pittsford Cemetery, which has two entrances on Washington Road, opposite Golf Avenue.  Please meet at the flagpole.  Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for rain.  I look forward to seeing some old friends, and meeting many new friends!

 

Pioneer Burying Ground Tour on October 17, 2009

September 15, 2009

Pittsford Town Historian Audrey Johnson and I are hosting a tour of the Pioneer Burying Ground in Pittsford on Saturday, October 17th at 10:00 a.m. 

Over 30 soldiers now permanently reside at the Pioneer Burying Ground.  Those soldiers served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.  During our October 17th

Pioneer Burying Ground

Pioneer Burying Ground

 tour, the lives of Civil War soldiers Ezra A. Patterson of the 108th New York Volunteer Infantry and George Walter of the 1st Battalion U.S. Sharpshooters will be illuminated.  We will also discuss several of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veterans, as well as other notable pioneers of Pittsford.

The Pioneer Burying Ground is located at the corner of South Main Street and Mendon Road in Pittsford.  A limited amount of parking spaces are available at the brick schoolhouse on Mendon Road.  Please wear comfortable walking shoes and be prepared for rain.


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