Robbins was a resident of Elba, Wisconsin. He was buried in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Robbins served as a private in the Sixth United States. Cavalry, fighting in the American Indian Wars On April 23, 1875, Robbins and five other soldiers snuck up behind a band of Cheyenne warriors and attacked them from the rear at Sappa Creek in Kansas.
The engagement was part of the Red River War.
Twentieth-century commentators have questioned the role of the Sixth Cavalry at Sappa Creek, with some calling it a "massacre.".