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from the Brandywine and Constitution Frigates. By a Civilian.
ed by Francis Lieber, assisted by E. Wigglesworth.
of Thomas Jefferson. Edited by Thomas Jefferson Randolph.
AMERICAN QUARTERLY REVIEW.
ART. I.-Memoirs of GENERAL MILLER, in the service of the
Republic of Peru. By John Miller. London : 1928. 8vo. 2 vols. pp. 389. 460.
This work is a very favourable specimen of the class of writings to which it belongs. With every mark of candour and truth, and all the simplicity of manner and frank straight forward style of narrative appropriate to military memoirs, it yet abounds with diversified and novel incidents, singular adventures, and extraordinary vicissitudes of fortune, that would grace the history of a hero of romance. South America seems to be the land of splendid achievements accomplished with inadequate means. Among the daring adventurers, who, at different periods, have flocked to the Spanish colonies, the vast majority undoubtedly make shipwreck of their hopes of wealth or fame, but still a few rise to an elevation proportionably more striking and exalted, buoyed along at times by the caprice of fortune, but occasionally lifted upwards by the native force of talent exerted in its proper and chosen sphere. Prominent in the ranks of the latter description of individuals stands General Miller, who in 1817 left England, the country of his birth, an untitled youth; and since then, to use the language of the book before us, "unsupported by connexion or interest, and steering a steady course through the storms of war and faction, has raised himself, by his own merit, to the highest rank in the army; obtained every honorary distinction; filled important civil situations; and, covered with honourable wounds, has now revisited his native country, with a character of perfect disinterestedness, and a conscience void of reproach.” High as this eulogium of his conduct and character would seem to be, it is yet justified by the facts related VOL. VI.NO. 11.
in the Memoirs, and by the concurring testimony of other au'thorities, which cannot be suspected of prejudice or undue partiality. The Memoirs enable us to form a correct idea of General Miller's progress to distinction; in addition to which they contain many curious anecdotes of the singular contest in which he signalized himself, and of the prominent statesmen or warriors of South America.
William Miller was born December 2d 1795, at Wingham, in the county of Kent, in England. From the beginning of January 1811, until the peace of 1815, he served in the British army. In what capacity does not explicitly appear in the Memoirs, but as nothing is said on the subject, we presume it must have been a very subordinate one. He landed at Lisbon in August 1811, and was present at the sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajos, and San Sebastian, at the battle of Vittoria, and at the investment of Bayonne. In June 1814 he sailed from Bordeaux for Bermudas, and from thence proceeded to the Chesapeake, where he joined the British expedition against Washington and Baltimore, and thus witnessed the death of General Ross. In November of the same year he sailed from Jamaica, with the forces destined to act in the abortive attack on New-Orleans. It is not expressly stated whether he was personally engaged in the battle which terminated so gloriously for the American arms, and for the gallant officer who defended the city against its unsuccessful assailants; but this may be inferred from the narrative. After quitting the Mississippi, he was shipwrecked off Mobile; but at length reached England by the way of Havana, in the summer of 1815. The two succeeding years were spent chiefly on the continent. Returning to England in 1817, he soon grew weary of inactivity, and having a strong passion for military distinction, he turned his attention to the war carried on in America between Spain and her revolted colonies; and after due inquiry determined to enter the service of the Provinces of La Plata. Having previously dedicated a few months to preparatory studies, he set sail from the Downs in August 1817, and landed at Buenos Ayres in the ensuing month of September. A few letters of introduction secured to him a friendly reception. He was immediately presented to the supreme director Puyrredon, and making known the object of his visit to Buenos Ayres, and his wish for employment in the army of the Andes, then in Chile under the command of San Martin, he received in due season a captain's commission.
Before proceeding across the continent to Chile, Miller made an excursion in company with four Buenos Ayrean gentlemen, whose object was to visit their estancias, lying two or three hundred miles from the city, towards Patagonia, and made many observations on the characteristic features of the country and its