Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MILROY, Robert Huston, soldier, born in Washington county, Indiana, 11 June, 1816. He was graduated at Norwich university, Vermont, in 1843, taking degrees both in the classical and military departments. In the war with Mexico he served as captain in the 1st Indiana volunteers. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1849, and in 1850 was graduated at the law department of Indiana university. He was a member of the Constitutional convention of Indiana in 1849-'50, and in 1851 was appointed judge of the 8th judicial circuit court of Indiana. At the beginning of the civil war he issued a call for volunteers and was made a captain, becoming colonel of the 9th Indiana volunteers on 26 April, 1861. He served in western Virginia under Generals George B. McClellan and William S. Rosecrans, receiving a commission as brigadier-general on 6 February, 1862, and thereafter continued in various commands in Virginia under Generals John C. Fremont and Franz Sigel, until 10 March, 1863, when he was made major-general of volunteers. In this capacity he had charge of the 2d division of the 8th army corps, and was stationed at Winchester, Virginia Here, on 15 June, 1863, he was attacked by nearly the whole of Lee's army, which was marching toward Pennsylvania. General Milroy resisted this superior force for three days, until his ammunition and provisions were exhausted, and then cut his way out by night, losing a large portion of his forces. He claims that this detention of Lee's army at Winchester enabled General Meade to fight advantageously at Gettysburg, when otherwise the great battle would have taken place farther north. His conduct was made the subject of investigation, and in 1865 he resigned from the army. In 1868 he became a trustee of the Wabash and Erie canal, which place he held for some time. He was appointed superintendent of Indian affairs in Washington territory, and continued in that office until 1874. He was appointed Indian agent in 1875, and reappointed until 1885, when, consequent upon a change in the administration, he lost the office.
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