Colonel Robert Kirkup was born in Scotland on August 18th, 1831. He helped organize the Cincinnati Independent Highland Guards, which became part of the 5th Ohio. He became second lieutenant in the 5th Ohio (three months at Camp Harrison on April 20th, 1861 and then three years at Camp Dennison on June 10th). He was promoted to captain of Company D on August 2nd, 1862, and while serving as captain received a gunshot wound in his left arm at the Battle of Cedar Mountain. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on September 26th, 1864, and then became colonel on July 25th, 1865. Kirkup participated in some of the most notable battles of the war, including Port Republic, Antietam, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, and throughout the Atlanta Campaign, and Bentonville.
Kirkup lived until April 11th, 1925 when he passed away in Avondale. In civilian life he was a brass finisher and then a brass foundry operator. He is buried in Section 73, Lot 182 in an unmarked grave, providing yet another opportunity for the Sons of Union Veterans to mark his grave.