George R. Crook

George R. Crook

Taylorsville, Highland County, Ohio, USA
Death 21 Mar 1890 (aged 61)
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 2, Site 974
Memorial ID 2280 · View Source
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Civil War Union Major General. Noted for his valor during the Civil War, and for twice capturing the Chiricahua Apache chief, Geronimo, in 1883 and in 1886, during the Indian Wars. Appointed from Ohio to the US Military Academy, and graduated in the Class of 1852, 38th in his class of 43. He fought against the Indians in California, where in 1857 he was wounded. In 1861, he was made Colonel and commander of the 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiment, and was wounded at Louisburg. In September 1862, he was promoted to Brigadier General, US Volunteers, taking command of the Kanawha District, and in July 1864, promoted to Major General, US Volunteers, taking command of the Cavalry Division of the Army of the Cumberland. He was brevetted six times to Major General, United States Regular Army. He fought at Chickamauga, and helped to drive Confederate General Joseph Wheeler out of Tennessee. In July 1864, he was put in command of the Army of West Virginia, and took part in operations in the Shenandoah Valley. In late February 1865, he was captured, along with Brigadier General Benjamin F. Kelley, by Confederate guerrillas, and exchanged the next month. Following the Civil War, he fought in the Indian Wars, during the period from 1866 to 1888. He distinguished himself in several campaigns against the Indians, particularly in the Battles of Powder River, Tongue River, and the Rosebud River. Twice he captured Geronimo, the chief of the Chiricahua Apaches, with a minimum of soldiers (the first time he used only 50 soldiers and took six months; the second time he used only 24 soldiers and three months). He obtained the surrender of Geronimo twice by promising to address their grievances, a promise he kept both times. In many opinions, he was the fairest soldier in dealings with the Indians, and often obtained from the Indians by agreement that which other Generals would have to use force to obtain. Others viewed him as too soft on the Indians, and he was often criticized by the newspapers for being too lenient with the Indians. General Crook was extremely honest in his dealings with others. When Geronimo surrendered in 1883, he brought with him a herd of cattle that the Apaches had stolen from the Mexicans. Crook impounded the cattle, sold them for $ 1,762.50, and had the money returned to the Mexican ranchers. After Geronimo escaped the second time (Crook had allowed him minimum guard, and trusted him to turn himself in), Crook resigned from his position as Commander of the Department of Arizona, after the War Department reprimanded him for allowing Geronimo's escape. He was replaced by General Nelson Miles, who used 10,000 soldiers and civilian volunteers, and three years, to force Geronimo to surrender. Later, he was given the command of the Department of the West, headquartered in Chicago, and was still in command there when he died at age 61. His wife, Mary Tapscott Dailey Crook, died at Oakland, Maryland in 1895, is buried with him at Arlington National Cemetery.  (Bio by Morgan Benson)

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 2280
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George R. Crook (8 Sep 1828–21 Mar 1890), Find a Grave Memorial no. 2280, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .