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Miller, Charelaus [Crill] (unknown–unknown)

Stephanie Piefer Niemeyer Biography Entry

Charelaus "Crill" Miller, rancher and Confederate officer, was born in Alabama on October 16, 1829. He was the son of William Brown and Elizabeth (Waddy) Miller. After his mother's death, he lived with his paternal grandmother until his father married Minerva Barnes in 1839. By 1850 the family lived in Dallas County and farmed and ranched in an area known as Lisbon. Crill Miller married Mary E. Walker of Searcy, Arkansas, in 1861. They had eight children.

Miller's farm and ranch were the subject of an alleged abolitionist plot, the "Texas Troubles," in the Dallas area in August 1860 (see ABOLITION). According to the local contemporary reports, a plan to destroy Dallas County by fire was hatched by a group of Miller's slaves and abolitionists. Although much of Dallas burned, Miller only lost his outhouses, granaries, oats, and grains. Vigilante justice resulted in the hanging of three local slaves. It is now believed that the fire began accidentally.

During the Civil War, Miller first served as a third lieutenant in the Sixth Texas Cavalry, also known as the Lancaster Guards. He resigned in May 1862 and joined the Second Texas Partisan Rangers. By 1865 he was made a colonel in the Second Texas Partisan Rangers, and assumed command from Isham Chisum who left the Rangers after his arrest and court martial. Crill Miller was the last commander of the Rangers and in 1865 at the war's end recorded the only list of Ranger members to exist.

After the war, Crill Miller claimed American Indian ancestry, which entitled him to land in Indian Territory. He and his family ranched there and then moved back to Dallas County to raise cattle and breed horses. He died on June 4, 1892, and is buried in the family cemetery in Dallas.

Nathe P. Bagby, "Old Overton House Has Romantic Story," Dallas Morning News, March 4, 1928 (http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~jwheat/overtonart.html), accessed March 23, 2011. Bellville [Texas] Countryman, July 1860–May 1865 http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/bellville.htm), accessed March 23, 2011. Ralph A. Wooster, Lone Star Regiments in Gray (Austin: Eakin Press, 2002).

Time Periods:

  • Civil War

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Stephanie Piefer Niemeyer, “Miller, Charelaus [Crill],” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 21, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/miller-charelaus-crill.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects:

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