Quartermaster Sgt. Monroe Joshua Miller
Quartermaster Monroe J. Miller was born near Salisbury, North Carolina on Sept. 19, 1830. His mother and father were Elizabeth (Knupp) Miller and Theobald Miller. Elizabeth Miller was of Norwegian ancestry and Theobald was of German descent. Elizabeth passed away when Monroe Miller was a small child. His father remarried and the family relocated to southern Illinois. Prior to his formal education, Miller worked in a printing office as an assistant to the editor. In 1853 he enrolled at McKendree College for only a single year. He left to fulfill a position working in a newspaper office in Berlin, Wisconsin and continued his education at Lawrence University where Dr. Nelson Cobleigh was President. Cobleigh would become McKendree’s 11th President in 1858. When Dr. Cobleigh returned to McKendree, so did Miller. He received the degree of A.B. and A.M. He was a member of the Platonian Literary Society. He held the office of president for this society three times and four times he was the editor of the “Plato Gem.” He was licensed to preach by the Lebanon Quarterly Conference.
In August of 1862, he enlisted in the 117th Volunteer Infantry as a Private in Company I. In 1864, he was promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant. After three years of service, Miller contracted tuberculosis. He passed away due to the disease on March 18, 1866. Though he was ill, his years following the war were spent as the printer and publisher of the Lebanon Republic. In 1863, he married Mary Virlinda Wright and they had a daughter, Mary Elizabeth. Several letters to his wife, as well as diary entries remain and depict steamboat transportation, marches, camp life, drunkenness, and casualties during his experience in the McKendree Regiment.