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Robert Huston Milroy was born in Washington County, Indiana in 1816. He was the son of Samuel and Martha (Huston) Milroy. At the age of 24, he attended Military School in Norwich, Vermont. When the Mexican War (1846-48) broke out, he enlisted and became Captain of the First Indiana Regiment. He was admitted to the bar in 1850 and moved his family to Rensselaer, Indiana in 1854.

After hearing the news of the fall of Fort Sumter (16 April 1861), Milroy enlisted a company of volunteers from Jasper County and was commissioned Colonel of Company G 9th Indiana Volunteers. On February 2, 1862, he was commissioned as Brigadier General and continued in various commands. He was made Major General of Volunteers in 1863.

After a disastrous defeat in Winchester, Virginia, June of 1863, General Milroy was brought up before a court of inquiry on charges of cowardice. He was later acquitted of all charges. The General resigned from the army in1865 and returned to Civilian life. In 1872 he became Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the State of Washington, and from 1875 to 1885 he was Indian agent with headquarters at Olympia, Wash. He died March 29, 1890 and is buried in Olympia.