Letters to the editor

Posted: March 5, 2013

‘Spoons’ Milroy

Gen. Robert H. Milroy was known in Winchester for many years at “Spoons Milroy.” Milroy arrived in Winchester on Jan. 1, 1863. He first threw out the Kiger family from their house on Fort Loudoun Hill. The house later was incorporated in Fort Loudoun Seminary, now Fort Loudoun Apartments.

Unhappy with the Kiger house, Milroy then took Dr. Baldwin’s house that once stood at 40 W. Piccadilly St. About this time Milroy heard that his wife was coming to Winchester, so he then sent off his African American mistress. Known as “Milroy’s Sweetheart,” according to the Rockingham Register, she was arrested by Confederate authorities at Morgantown.

Mrs. Milroy didn’t want to live in the Baldwin House, but rather the Logan House at 135 N. Braddock St., known today as “Kimberly’s.” Mrs. Logan protested, but Milroy ordered U.S. soldiers to pick her up and set her in the front yard. The Logan children were then chased out of the house. One of the first ladies to come to Mrs. Logan’s aid was Betty Taylor Dandridge, daughter of President Zachary Taylor, who lived nearby. Then Mrs. Logan and her children were escorted out of Winchester by a company of U.S. cavalry.

When Milroy bid a hasty retreat from Winchester in June 1863, along with him went some of Mrs. Logan’s clothing, a few items of Mr. Logan’s clothing (he was in Lexington), all the children’s clothing, some small pieces of Logan family furniture, Mrs. Logan’s piano, and Mrs. Logan’s silverware. Hence the name “Spoons” Milroy.

Because of Milroy’s treatment of the people of Winchester, the Confederate government put a price on his head. Gen. Robert H. Milroy was a coward, a thief and a disgrace to the U.S. Army and to all Americans.

Ben Ritter

Frederick County

Media ’moon is over for Obama

Low-information citizens may not want to admit it, but they are being proven wrong. It's most gratifying that people are beginning to wake up to the dangerous (just go to European history in the days before World War II) lying tactics of the White House toward those in the press who occasionally stray from the government-owned media model. President Obama’s honeymoon with the media is over.

Bob Woodward, criticizing the president’s actions, has met with Obama’s threat that “Woodward will regret what he said.” Woodward said on a recent evening CNN program that a “very senior person” (Gene Sperling, the director of the White House Economic Council, see BuzzFeed's Ben Smith report) at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this.” That was the same day Woodward continued to slam the president over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer said the network invited a White House official to debate Woodward on air, but, alas, the White House declined.

“It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in.” Woodward said. He added that Obama was showing a “kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time” (his words, not mine) for a decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of budget concerns.

“Can you imagine George W. Bush saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to invade Iraq because I can’t get the aircraft carriers I need?’ Or Bill Clinton saying, ‘You know, I'm not going to attack Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters,’ because of some budget document?” Woodward asked.

“I think they’re confused,” Woodward said of the White House’s pushback on his reporting.

Not confused. Just found out. The honeymoon is over.

Simon Volinsky


Not so fast on Sherwood

Concerning J. Kirkland’s letter of Feb. 16, while trying to catch up with my newspaper reading, I found this letter of dissatisfaction about the lack of attention from Del. Beverly Sherwood. She works long and hard, and the rest of Frederick County’s residents think the world of her.

I guess she was paying a little too much attention to all the rest of us out here and just couldn’t meet with the letter-writer’s desires appropriately.

All the rest of the residents out here wish to apologize to you for taking up all of her time.

And she certainly has our vote.

June Spiess

Frederick County

Just a pointless ‘PC’ argument

Another response to Larry Yates’ views on renaming the streets of Winchester. I would suggest that if Mr. Yates wants to badmouth the Confederacy and the South in general that he just spew his venom and move on, instead of trying to wrap it around some imagined argument over street names.

The tribute of having public streets, etc., named after someone is generally reserved for noteworthy individuals who bear some local or national significance. Jubal Early was a Virginian who fought in three wars. A hero defending his state from invaders.

Robert Milroy of Indiana? He certainly has no national significance, and locally his only claim to fame seems to be the mistreatment of the citizens of Winchester. So much so that even the local Union sympathizers didn’t care for him. If being a devout Christian qualifies him for this honor, I’m sure there would be so many local names to use that you would run out of streets before you ran out of names.

If understanding “strategically that emancipation would win the war” was so important, then why did President Lincoln wait until 1863 to do it?

Applying today’s political correctness to events and individuals of other eras serves no purpose other than dredging up needless divisiveness.

Many in Jubal Early’s time believed as he did, and not just in the South. If Mr. Yates wants to make pointless politically correct arguments, then maybe he could go to a Northern city with streets named after Union generals, and complain that the Union had no female generals. Maybe a better local argument for him would be to name streets after the Shawnee.

Bruce Carter

(Morally Blind White Southerner)


Time for us to leave Afghanistan

The United States has fought a dozen major wars in its history. Vietnam used to be our worst military mistake. But of all the past wars we have been involved in, Iraq and now Afghanistan are the biggest military miscalculations our country has ever made.

It’s time we left that country of Stone Age people.

Joseph Petrone


Count him in, too

Please count me in as the second negative response regarding Larry Yates’ letter to the editor of Feb. 20.The merits and faults of both General Early and General Milroy are extensively documented in many books. No matter your view of each man, they were products of their times, as are we.

You can change the name on a street sign, but you can't change history.

Stan Daywalt

Frederick County