Miles, Nelson Appleton (1839–1925), a United States army officer in the Civil War, the Indian wars, and the Spanish-American War. He was born on a farm near Westminster, Massachusetts. While a clerk in a crockery store in Boston, he attended night school. He raised a company for the Civil War and was commissioned captain in the 22nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Miles fought in all but one of the major battles of the Army of the Potomac. He was wounded at Fair Oaks and Fredericksburg, and received the Medal of Honor for gallantry at Chancellorsville. He was a major general at the age of 26.
Miles was commissioned colonel in the Regular Army in 1866 and led the 5th U.S. Infantry in campaigns against Kiowas and Comanches, Sioux, and Nez Percés. He drove Sitting Bull into Canada and accepted the surrenders of Chief Joseph of the Nez Percés and Geronimo of the Apaches. Miles was made brigadier general in 1880 and major general in 1890.
In 1895 Miles became commanding general of the army. He led the expedition that took Puerto Rico in the Spanish-American War. In 1901 he became a lieutenant general. He retired in 1903.