Lorenzo Dow Miles was born on 5 October 1838 in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, the son of Orin and Eunice (Clark) Miles. He enlisted as a Private in Co. E, 3rd Infantry Regiment, on June 1, 1861. On November 6, 1861, he joined Battery F, 5th U.S. Artillery. He returned to Co. E, 3rd Infantry Regiment on January 28, 1864, and was mustered out on July 27, 1864. He married Harriet E. Lord on March 14, 1865, and settled in Albany, Vermont to farm. They had three children: Carrie E., Eddie F., and Frank E. Lorenzo was elected deputy sheriff and then sheriff of Caledonia County. He died October 5, 1923.
The Vermont Historical Society holds four letters written by Lorenzo D. Miles of Albany, Vermont, from 1862 to 1863. None of the letters are complete. The first two letters are addressed to his brother, Willard W. Miles (1843-1926). In the first letter, dated 14 April 1862, Miles describes the contrast between Vermont scenery and the South, and briefly describes the troops gathering before Yorktown. The second letter is dated 15 October 1862, and Miles writes of his health, rations, duties, and a partial description of a scouting expedition. Miles also writes, "...I trust the time is not far distant when we shall again meet to enjoy not only our own society but to rest assured that our glorious Constitution is again safe..." The third letter, dated 28 July 1863, is addressed to his father, Orin Miles (1813-1877). It contains some details about the 3rd Vermont Regiment's movements after the Battle of Gettysburg. The final letter lacks the first page, but appears to be addressed to one of Lorenzo's brothers. It gives a description of the people and countryside in Virginia and Maryland, as compared to Vermont.
The VHS library collection also includes three diaries by Miles for the period 1862-1864 (MSC 197:2-4); they have not been transcribed. There are entries in the diaries for the battles of Williamsburg, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Wilderness and Cold Harbor.