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Civil War Soldiers - Crook

Crook, George, major-general, U.S. Army, was born near Dayton, Ohio, Sept. 8, 1828, was graduated at West Point in 1852, and served in California as 2nd lieutenant in the 4th U. S. infantry until 1861, participating in the Rogue river expedition in 1856, and commanding the Pitt river expedition in 1857, where he was engaged in several actions, in one of which he was wounded by an arrow. He had risen to a captaincy at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war, and was ordered east to become colonel in the 36th Ohio volunteer infantry. He commanded a brigade in western Virginia, being wounded at the affray at Lewisburg, and then engaged in the northern Virginia and Maryland campaigns, winning the brevet of lieutenant-colonel U. S. A. for his services at Antietam. He was in command, in 1863, of the 2nd cavalry division, Army of the Cumberland, and, after the battle of Chickamauga, in which he distinguished himself, pursued Wheeler's cavalry, driving it across the Tennessee into Alabama with great loss. In Feb., 1864, he was transferred to the command of the military district of West Virginia, made constant raids, partook in various actions and won the battle of Cloyd's mountain, May 9, 1864, and later in the year took part in Sheridan's Shenandoah campaign. For his services he received, March 13, 1865, the brevets of major-general and brigadier-general in the regular army. He commanded the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac in March and April, 1865, during which time he was engaged at Dinwiddie Court House, Jetersville, Sailor's creek and Farmville, until the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. He was afterwards transferred to the command of Wilmington, N. C, where he remained from Sept. 1, 1865, until mustered out of the volunteer service, Jan. 15, 1866. After the war Gen. Crook gained great fame as a fighter of Indians, and manager of them, being equally skillful in both. After a short leave of absence, he was commissioned lieutenant-colonel U. S. A., July 28, 1866, and assigned to service in Idaho, where he actively engaged against hostile Indians until 1872, when he was ordered to quell Indian disturbances in Arizona. He sent an ultimatum, ordering the chiefs to return at once to their reservations or "be wiped off the face of the earth," and, this being disregarded, he attacked them in what was considered an impregnable stronghold, the Tonto basin, and soon brought them to subjection. Next, in 1875, he defeated the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at Powder river, Wy., following this victory with two more, one at Tongue river and one at Rosebud. The final victory so incensed the Sioux that they massed eleven tribes and at Little Big Horn massacred Gen. Custer with 277 of his famous troopers, in what has since been known as the "Custer Massacre." Crook was given reinforcements, and proceeded so vigorously that by May, 1877, all the hostile tribes in the northwest had yielded. Returning to Arizona in 1882, he drove off white marauders from lands belonging to the Apaches, and pledged the Indians the protection of the government. This action he followed in 1883 by regaining a large amount of plunder stolen by the Chiricahuas, and making those Indians peaceable and self-supporting, and then for two years had complete charge of Indian affairs. Gen. Crook was promoted major-general in 1888 and assigned to the Department of the Missouri. He died in Chicago, Ill., March 1, 1890.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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