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Robert Huston Milroy

Union general
Born: 6/11/1816
Birthplace: near Salem, Ind.

Born on a farm in southern Indiana, Milroy attended a private military academy in Vermont, graduating in 1843. He served as a company commander during the Mexican War and later went to law school at Indiana University. In 1850 he was a member of the Indiana state constitutional convention. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Milroy organized the 9th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was appointed the colonel in charge. The unit took part in the Union victories at Philippi (often considered the first land battle of the war) and Laurel Hill in northwest Virginia. A year later, in May–June 1862, Milroy took part in two Union defeats, at the battles of McDowell and Cross Keys, Va. He served with distinction at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Aug. 1862. Milroy was promoted to brigadier general in Sept. 1861 and major general in Nov. 1862.

During the Gettysburg campaign, Milroy was named commander of the Union garrison at Winchester, Va. Confederate troops under Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell entered the area and captured the fort in a battle on June 13–14, 1863. Milroy escaped with some of his troops, but he lost more than 3,000 prisoners and 23 pieces of artillery, and casualties were heavy. Milroy was relieved of his command and arrested. He was exonerated some months later by a court of inquiry, but he was never given another field command.

Following the Civil War, Milroy became a trustee of the Wabash and Erie Canal Company and then an Indian agent in Olympia, Washington, where he died.

Died: 3/29/1890

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