Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - Robert Milroy

Robert Huston Milroy

Representing: Union

Robert Milroy
Soldier History

Civil War Union Major General. He commanded some 8000 men at the Battle of Winchester, Virginia in June of 1862. Confederate Major General Richard Ewell's 2nd Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia outmatched General Milroy and captured some 3400 men, and all 23 pieces of artillery. He was relieved of duty shortly after.

Bio by: EFB III

Family History

Robert Huston Milroy Famous memorial

11 Jun 1816
Salem, Washington County, Indiana, USA
29 Mar 1890 (aged 73)
Olympia, Thurston County, Washington, USA
Tumwater, Thurston County, Washington, USA Show Map
Block 19, Row 9, Grave 8
Memorial ID

Robert Huston Milroy was born in Salem,
Washington County, Indiana, on June 11, 1816,
the same year the state entered the Union. Born
into a military family, he was the son of Major
General Samuel Milroy and his second wife,
Martha Patsy Huston. His father served with
distinction in the Indiana militia during the War
of 1812. In 1826 the family relocated to
Delphi, Carroll County, Indiana where the elder
Milroy took up farming.
Milroy’s father had a strong aversion to higher
education and opposed his son’s desire to attend
the military academy at West Point. In 1840,
without informing his father, Milroy enrolled at
the American Literary, Scientific, and Military
Academy at Norwich, Vermont, today known as
Norwich University. He received degrees of
Bachelor of Arts and Master of Military
Science and graduated first in his class.
Unsuccessful in obtaining a commission in the U.S. Army, he returned to Indiana
in 1844 to attend law school at the University of Indiana at Bloomington.He
interrupted his legal studies twice for military pursuits, first in Texas and then
in the Mexican War, serving as Captain in the First Indiana Infantry in
1846-1847.After the war ended, he resumed his law studies, graduating in
1850. He was then admitted to the bar and served at the Constitutional
Convention of 1850. He quickly became an ardent Republican and abolitionist
when the party rose to national prominence in the 1850s. The governor of
Indiana appointed Milroy President Judge of the Eighth Judicial District in
1852. Two years later, he resigned and moved to Rensselaer, Indiana, where he
established a law practice lasting until the outbreak of the Civil War.
On May 17, 1849, Robert Milroy married Mary J. Armitage in Carroll
County, Indiana. Mary Armitage was the daughter of Valerius Armitage, a
major contractor in the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal. They had
seven children. Sons Bruce and Walter practiced together as attorneys in the
North Yakima, Washington Territory, firm of Milroy, Ir win and Milroy.
On April 23, 1861, shortly after the start of the Civil War, Milroy was
commissioned captain of the 9th Indiana Infantry (a 3-month unit,
reenlisting for three years after the expiration of its original term of
ser vice). Four days later he was unanimously elected colonel. In the first
months of the war, he ser ved under General George B. McClellan in the
western Virginia Campaign. Following the Virginia Campaign, he was
promoted to brigadier general on September 3, 1861, and major general on
March 10, 1863, to rank from November 29, 1862. After his promotion, he
participated in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862 against
Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and commanded forces at
the Battle of McDowell in western Virginia. During the battle, he was able to
surprise Jackson's forces and had early success. However, by nightfall, weary
and short of ammunition, he was forced to withdraw his brigades.
In August of 1862 he commanded a brigade of the Army of Virginia under
General John Pope at the Battle of Second Bull Run.
From February until June of 1863, Milroy commanded the 2nd Division of the
VIII Corps. During the Battle of Second Winchester, Milroy was defeated
after he decided not to withdraw from Winchester, thinking that the
fortification the town offered could withstand a Confederate attack. His
assessment proved incorrect and his forces were over whelmed by the 2nd
Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. Although Milroy and much of his
staff escaped, Confederate forces captured 3,400 of his men, as well as all of
his artillery and supply wagons. Milroy was removed from command and
brought up before a court of inquiry. He was not found guilty of any major
wrong-doing. He remained inactive for a length of time until he was
transferred to the Western Theater in the spring of 1864. He served under
General George Henry Thomas, recruiting soldiers for his army. For a short
time, he commanded troops during the Nashville Campaign.
In this capacity, he led Union troops to victory at the Third Battle of
Murfreesboro in December of 1864. Effective in the field, Milroy's performance
was later complimented by his superior, Major General Lovell Rousseau. Milroy
remained in the west for the remainder of the war. He resigned his commission
on July 26, 1865.
After the war, Milroy served as a trustee of the Wabash and Erie Canal
Company. From 1872 to 1875, he served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs in
Washington Territory, and served as an Indian agent for the next ten years. He
joined George H. Thomas Post No. 5of the G. A. R. in Olympia, Thurston County,
Washington on May 4, 1887 and served the Post in following positions: Junior
Vice Commander (1888) and Senior Vice Commander (1889). He passed away
of heart failure in Olympia, Washington, on March 29, 1890. Upon his passing,
Milroy’s G. A. R. comrades proclaimed, “The Grand Army of the Republic has
lost one of its greatest heroes and the country one of its noblest patriots”. He is
the namesake ofGen. Milroy Post No. 62originally located at Latah, Spokane
County, Washington, later relocated to Tekoa, Whitman County, Washington.
Source: SUVCW Department oftheColumbia website


Buried at Masonic Memorial Park Also known as Masonic Cemetery
Row: Block 19, Row 9, Grave 8

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