Patriots of ’61 – Capt. Alfred Alexander Miller of Rowan County
The son of John Cyrus and Sophie Propst Miller, Alfred Alexander was born 11 June 1835 in Rowan County. By occupation a farmer, he enlisted in June 1862 in the Rowan Militia which became Company K, 57th Regiment, North Carolina Troops, mustered into service on 17 July, 1862. The 57th Regiment NCT was comprised of men from Alamance, Cabarrus, Catawba, Forsyth, Lincoln, and Rowan Counties.
Capt. Miller was killed during a counterattack of the 54th and 57th North Carolina on enemy forces at Deep Run Creek south of Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 13, 1862. A Confederate staff officer recalled the action: “with Federal shells “singing and exploding” over and around them, the men formed a line of battle….[and] charged the enemy line with fixed bayonets…and with a Rebel Yell, a sudden rush….the enemy was driven out, killed or captured.”
It is recorded that the evening before his death, “Capt. Miller held prayer services with his company, stating that he did not expect to survive the next day’s battle. That night, Capt. Miller wrote a last letter home asking that his children “be reared in the Faith.”
His earthly remains were brought home to Rowan County by Rev. S.D. Rothrock and buried in the yard of Bethel Lutheran Church, Franklin, North Carolina.
(Sources: Online genealogy; North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, Weymouth T. Jordan, Jr., NCDAH, 1998)
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