Portrait of George Crook

On the night of February 21, 1865, Confederate partisans captured George Crook as he slept at Cumberland, Maryland. Confederates held him as a prisoner of war at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, for one month until his release as part of a prisoner exchange on March 20, 1865. [Wikimedia Commons]

George Crook - Facts

September 8, 1828 - March 21, 1890

Key facts about George Crook, a noted officer in the United States Army during the American Civil War and the Indian Wars in the American West during the last half of the nineteenth century.

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Full Name:

  • George Crook

Birth Date:

  • September 8, 1828

Birth Location:

  • near Taylorsville, Ohio

Parents:

  • Thomas and Elizabeth (Matthews) Crook

Education:

  • United States Military Academy (1852)

Occupation:

  • Miltary officer

Career Summary:

  • Major General (USVA)
  • Major General (USA)

Spouse:

  • Mary Tapscott Daily (1865)

Nickname(s):

  • Grey Wolf

Place of Death:

  • Chicago, Illinois

Date of Death:

  • March 20, 1890

Place of Burial:

  • Arlington Nation Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia

Significance:

  • George Crook was born on September 8, 1828 on a farm near Taylorsville, Ohio in the Dayton area..
  • George Crook was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Matthews) Crook.
  • Ohio Congressman Robert Schenck George nominated George to attend the United States Military Academy.
  • George Crook graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1852, 38th out of 43 cadets in his class.
  • George Crook was commissioned as a second lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Infantry and served in California from 1852 to 1861.
  • George Crook was promoted to first lieutenant in 1856.
  • George Crook was promoted to captain in 1860.
  • When the Civil War began, George Crook was promoted to colonel of the 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on September 12, 1861, and he was sent to western Virginia.
  • George Crook was promoted to brigadier general on September 7, 1862 and he was assigned to command a brigade of regiments in the Kanawha Division (attached to the 9th Corps, Army of the Potomac) in the Maryland Campaign.
  • George Crook participated in the Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862).
  • George Crook commanded a cavalry division in the Army of the Cumberland at the Battle of Chickamauga (September 19–20, 1863).
  • George Crook was reassigned to western Virginia in the spring of 1864 and led the Kanawha Division to victory at the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain (May 9, 1864).
  • George Crook was named commander of the Department of Western Virginia and the Army of Western Virginia in August 1864.
  • George Crook’s Army of Western Virginia became the 8th Corps of the Army of the Shenandoah during Major General Philip Sheridan’s Valley Campaign in 1864.
  • George Crook led the 8th Corps of the Army of the Shenandoah during the Battles of Opequon (September 19, 1864), Fisher’s Hill (September 21-22, 1864) and Cedar Creek (October 19, 1864).
  • George Crook was promoted to major general of volunteers on October 21, 1864.
  • On the night of February 21, 1865, Confederate partisans captured George Crook as he slept at Cumberland, Maryland,
  • George Crook was held as a prisoner of war at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia, for one month until he was released as part of a prisoner exchange on March 20, 1865.
  • George Crook commanded a cavalry division in the Army of the Potomac during the Appomattox Campaign in 1865.
  • George Crook married Mary Tapscott Daily on August 22, 1865, in Allegany County, Maryland.
  • When the volunteer army was disbanded at the end of the Civil War, George Crook received a brevet promotion to major general in the regular army, but reverted to his formal rank of lieutenant colonel.
  • After the Civil War, George Crook served with the 23rd Infantry on frontier duty in the Pacific Northwest, where he campaigned against the Paiute, Pit River, and Modoc Indians.
  • From 1865 to 1868, George Crook campaigned against the Snake Indians during the Snake War in the Pacific Northwest.
  • President Grant placed George Crook in command of the Arizona Territory in 1871.
  • George Crook was promoted to brigadier general in 1873.
  • George Crook campaigned against the Sioux Indians during the Great Sioux War of 1876-77.
  • Some critics contend that Crook contributed to Lieutenant Colonel George Custer’s disastrous defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876, because he unexpectedly returned to his supply base after a standoff with Sioux Indians at the Battle of the Rosebud on June 17, rather than pressing forward in support of Custer’s 7th Cavalry.
  • George Crook commanded the Department of the Platte from 1875 to 1882.
  • In 1882 George Crook campaigned against Geronimo and the Chiricahua Apaches in Arizona.
  • In 1886, Brigadier General Nelson Miles replaced George Crook as commander of the Arizona Territory.
  • George Crook commanded the Department of the Platte from 1886 to 1888.
  • In 1888, George Crook was promoted to major general and appointed to head the Division of the Missouri.
  • George Crook spent his last years speaking out against the unjust treatment of his former Indian adversaries.
  • George Crook died suddenly from a heart attack in Chicago, on March 20, 1890, while serving as commander of the Division of the Missouri.
  • George Crook was originally buried in Oakland, Maryland.
  • On November 11, 1898, George Crook’s body was re-interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Apache Chief Geronimo gave George Crook the nickname “Grey Wolf.”
  • The Indian chief, Red Cloud said of George Crook when he died, “he never lied to us. His words gave us hope”.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title George Crook - Facts
  • Coverage September 8, 1828 - March 21, 1890
  • Author
  • Keywords george crook
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 31, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 29, 2021
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