James Miller, born in Denmark in 1835, was quartermaster on board Marblehead 25 December 1863 when she engaged Confederate batteries at John’s Island near Legareville on South Carolina’s Stono River. While exposed to fierce hostile fire, he continued casting the lead and giving the soundings. For his bravery and coolness, and for admirable management at the wheel, he was promoted to acting master’s mate and awarded the Medal of Honor.


Served as quartermaster on board the U.S. Steam Gunboat Marblehead off Legareville, Stono River, December 25, 1863, during an engagement with the enemy on John's Island. Acting courageously under the fierce hostile fire, Miller behaved gallantly throughout the engagement which resulted in the enemy's withdrawal and abandonment of its arms.