MILES, NELSON A.
Miles has been called the premier example of the citizen-soldier in America for, with no military training whatsoever, he rose to Commander of the U.S. Army. Commissioned as a captain when the Civil War began, Miles' abilities were quickly recognized and, in May 1864, he was appointed brigadier-general while he was but 24 years of age. With one exception, Miles fought in every important battle in which the Army of the Potomac participated, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service at Chancellorsville. Remaining in the Army after the war, Miles first assignment was the thankless task of overseeing Jefferson Davis' incarceration at Fort Monroe. After this, Miles spent much of the rest of his career at the Western frontier in successful campaigns against the likes of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph and Geronimo. In 1894, as Commander of the Department of the Missouri, he was responsible for putting down the riots and disorders which accompanied the Pullman strike in Chicago. In September 1895, Miles was appointed Commander of the U.S. Army, a position he held until his retirement in 1903. In this capacity, it was Miles who commanded the American troops during the Spanish-American War.