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Civil War Soldiers - Milroy

Milroy, Robert H., major-general, U.S. Army, was born near Salem, Ind., June 11, 1816. He was graduated at Norwich university, Vt., in 1843, taking degrees in both the classical and military departments, and in the war with Mexico he served as captain in the 1st Ind. regiment. He was graduated at the Indiana university with the degree of LL. B. in 1850, and practiced law until the Civil war, first at Delphi and then at Rensselaer; was a member of the Indiana constitutional convention, 1850-51, and in 1851 was appointed judge of the 8th judicial circuit of Indiana. At the beginning of the Civil war he issued a call for volunteers and was commissioned colonel of the 9th Ind. volunteers on April 26, 1871. In Dec, 1861, he attacked the Confederates in front of Cheat Mountain pass, and on Feb. 6, 1862, he was given a commission as brigadier-general to date from Sept. 5, 1861. He assumed command of the Mountain Department in Jan., 1862, and adopted stringent and effective measures against the depredations of guerrillas, as the result of which President Davis secured the passage of a bill through the Confederate congress offering a reward of $100,000 for the body of Gen. Milroy, dead or alive. In May, 1862, Gen. Milroy was attacked by Jackson at McDowell, and he fought there with the aid of Shields, who assumed command, the battle of McDowell. Gen. Milroy's brigade was then attached to Sigel's corps, Army of the Potomac, and fought in the second battle of Bull Run. He was promoted major-general of volunteers Nov. 29, 1862, and with his division of 8,000 men he occupied Winchester. Here he was attacked by nearly the whole of Lee's army, which was marching toward Pennsylvania, and held out for three days against the superior force, retreating then, by night, with great loss of men, to Harper's Ferry. Gen. Milroy claimed that by thus holding Lee in check he enabled Meade to meet him at Gettysburg, when otherwise the battle would have been fought farther north. However, his conduct was made the object of official investigation and he was held in confinement until May 13, 1864, for having evacuated Winchester without orders from Gen. Schenck, his immediate commander. After his release he was ordered to Nashville, Tenn., and soon thereafter fought his last battle against Gens. Forrest and Bates, defeating their combined forces on the old Murfreesboro battle-ground. He resigned from the army July 25, 1865. In 1868 he was elected trustee of the Wabash & Erie canal company. He then held the office of superintendent of Indian affairs in Washington territory, 1872-75, and that of Indian agent in Washington territory, 1875-85. Gen. Milroy died in Olympia, Wash., March 29, 1890.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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