Exempt or not exempt, Miller did his service
Jesse A. Miller was born on July 12, 1840 in Randolph County, the eldest son of Riley and Rachel Allred Miller. In the 1850s, Jesse’s father built the Uwharrie Cliff Grist Mill, later called Millers Mill, on the Uwharrie River. Jesse helped his father run the mill. On May 17, 1860, Jesse married Susannah Younts. After the start of the Civil war, Jesse was conscripted and sent to Raleigh with the first conscripts, but was told by Col. Mallett, Commandant of Conscripts, to return home due to Jesse’s occupation being that of a miller. Jesse said that Col. Mallett told him it was not yet decided if persons employed as millers were exempt from military duty and to stay home until futher notice. When the second enrollment of conscripts began, Jesse went to Asheboro and presented to Capt. J. M. Little, Enrolling Officer the affidavit required for exemption of millers. Capt. Little acknowledged the legality of the affidavit but refused to honor it, stating that since Jesse was only 23 years old, he was well under the age requirement of 35 and therefore considered “in the service.” Capt. Little did not hold him, however, due to Jesse’s having a certificate signed by Braxton Craven that he had presented to Capt. Little. The paper showed that by authority of Capt. Little himself, Jesse was ordered to remain at the mill until further orders and stating that no officer or other person would molest him. On July 9, 1863 while Jesse was working at the grist mill along with his father, Capt. James McGee, an officer of the 63rd Militia in the lower Trinity district, came and arrested him, threatening that he would be conscripted and sent to camp. Jesse filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which was granted by Judge Richmond M. Pearson on July 24, 1863, thereby exempting Jesse from service in the military. On a paper relating to this, signed by James Sloan, Justice of the Peace for Guilford County, it is stated that Jesse was a member of the 63rd Militia. Jesse was still serving in the 63rd Militia in November 1864. Jesse returned to Trinity, N.C. and operated Millers Mill. He and Susanna raised a family of seven children who also helped in the grist mill.