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Jeremiah Brownmiller, Delaware, Ohio

Jeremiah Brownmiller, Delaware, Ohio

Posted: 1188404346000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Brownmiller
I am not related to any Brownmillers, but I am one of the web masters for the 48th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment web site. The 48th OVVI was a Union infantry unit during the Civil War.

After the war the regiment was stationed in Texas and one of their soldiers, Jerry (Jeremiah) Brownmiller, was murdered by a New York cavalryman. We are writing a brief history of the incident for our site. I sent for Jeremiah Brownmiller's service record and pension file and it contains a complete transcript of the court-marshal of his murderer. Very interesting reading! It appears Jeremiah was never married, but his father, Reuben Brownmiller, applied for a father's pension. The family lived in Delaware, Delaware Co., Ohio before and after the Civil War. Rueben's wife was Lydia (nee Synder) Brownmiller who died before the war on 14 March 1858. They were married in Moxatony, PA on 28 Nov 1833. Here is the family as listed in 1861:

Mary Brownmiller, daughter, born Aug 15th 1836
Louis Brownmiller, son, born June 7th 1838
Reubin Brownmiller, son, born Aug 16, 1841
Joseph Brownmiller, son (twin), born Apr 12, 1844
Lydia Brownmiller, daughter (twin), born Apr 12, 1844
Jerry Brownmiller, son, born Sept 20th 1846 [this would be the murdered soldier]
Isaac Brownmiller, son, Nov 28 1848
Joel Brownmiller, son, Oct 21, 1851

Reubin had five sons in the Civil War. Jerry was murdered, Reuben Jr. died of disease while in the army, Louis was MIA - presumed killed, and Joseph and Isaac both returned home disabled. What a sad time for Reuben!

I would be interested if there are any connections to anyone else's Brownmillers. I noticed that Delaware, Ohio was mentioned in your post, so I suspect there are.

I would be happy to share the information I have on the murder if you are interested.

Don Worth
48th OVVI Webmaster

Re: Jeremiah Brownmiller, Delaware, Ohio

Posted: 1188496707000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Brownmiller, Gock
Mr. Worth,

I was very happy to hear from you. I would be most grateful for any information that you could share about Jeremiah Brownmiller, and will gladly do what I can to help you as well. The Brownmiller/Braumiller and Gock families hold a family reunion every August in Delaware County, Ohio. The hundredth anniversary of this event will take place in 2009. (If any one who reads this post is interested in the reunions, please feel free to contact me privately at and I will see that you receive an invitation.) Brownmiller family members from the same line can be found in PA and IA as well as Delaware County.

The Civil War did indeed take a terrible toll on the Brownmiller family in Ohio. Jeremiah's uncle, Samuel Braumiller, 96th Ohio Infantry, died of disease as well.

Please let me know what sort of data would be helpful to you and I will send it along.

Claudia Claar

Re: Jeremiah Brownmiller, Delaware, Ohio

Posted: 1188499675000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Brownmiller

I responded to you by email. But for the benefit of anyone else that sees this, here is an excerpt from the Court Marshal trial transcript that serves to explain what happened in the incident.


The Accused Private James K. Postley Co. “B”. 18” New York Cav. Volunteers was arraigned for the following Charge and Specification –

Charge:_ Murder
Specification:_ In this that he James K. Postley Private of Company “B.” Eighteenth New York Cavalry Volunteers did with malice a forethought and without proper cause or provocation draw a Revolver or pistol and point it towards Jerry Brown Miller, Private of Company “C.” Forty Eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry and did fire on him the said Brown Miller the ball from the said Revolver or pistol taking effect in the said Brown Miller’s head, killing him within about the period of twenty minutes after the wound was received.

This at Galveston, State of Texas on our about the evening of the Nineteenth day of February A. D. one thousand eight hundred and sixty six.


Private Andrew Fredline, Co. "B", 48" Ohio Vols. a witness for the prosecution was duly sworn.

Ques. Judge Adv: State your name, rank and command?
Ans: Andrew Fredline, Private, Co. "B" 48" Ohio Vols.
Ques. Judge Adv: Do you know accused if so state his name rank and command?
Ans: To my knowledge his name is James Postley. I do not know his Regiment.
Ques. Judge Adv: Did you see accused on the 19" day of February, 1866?
Ans: Yes sir.
Ques: Judge Adv: Where did you see him?
Ans: I saw him at Capt. Morse's office at the Custom House.
Ques. Judge Adv: State what you saw of him on that day?
Ans: I saw him through the day clerking in the office and in the evening him and Clinton Hays went to supper. I do not know anything about him until they came back to the tent where I was sitting. They came up to the tent Clinton Hays and James Postley. When they got to the tent James Cass, Jerry Brown Miller and myself got up and went out of the tent and then James Postley opened the tent and wanted Clinton Hays to go into the tent and Hays refused to go into the tent and wanted Postley to go in first. There was some words passed between them but I cannot recollect what they were and then Clinton Hays called for James Cass. Cass came up then and laid one hand upon Hays shoulder and the other upon Posley's shoulder, when Postley told Cass to stand back. Cass did so. Postley got to jerking Clinton Hays about pretty rough. Jerry Brown Miller stepped up and told Postley not to handle Hays so rough. Postley told Brown Miller to stand back. Brown Miller told Postley he would not stand back when Postley drew his revolver and again told Brown Miller to stand back. Brown Miller told Postley he would not stand back and to shoot him if he wanted to. Then Brown Miller, Hays and Postley commenced scuffling around there for a little bit and then James Cass told Brown Miller to stop or else Postley might shoot him. Brown Miller stopped. Postley threw Hays down on the ground. Postley raised up and said "so help me God I will shoot." He said those words twice and as he said "so help me God" the last time he Postley shot the first shot, cannot tell whether he shot in the air or not. The second shot he fired at Brown Miller, or at least he Brown Miller fell and the third shot I cannot tell whether he fired at Brown Miller or not, he fired in that direction, and then James Cass stepped up to Postley and says, Postley you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You have shot Jerry Brown Miller. Postley says to James Cass, stand back or I will shoot you, and then Postley turned around and walked up stairs into Capt. Morse's office. I did not see anything more of Postley until I was with Corp. McKee sent up to arrest him. He met him at the office door with his revolver in his hand loaded. McKee says Postley I was sent up here to arrest you. Postley asked him by whose order. McKee says by Douglass the Sheriff. By this time Douglass the Sheriff came up stairs. Says Douglas to Postley you have got to give up your revolver. Postley did so and then we took him off to the prison. This is all I know of it.
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