Crook, George,1828–90, U.S. general, b. near Dayton, Ohio, grad. West Point, 1852. During the Civil War, Crook commanded a regiment of Ohio volunteers as colonel. After the war he operated so successfully against the Paiute and Snake in Idaho and the Apache in Arizona that he was promoted (1873) to brigadier general in the regular army. Made commander of the Dept. of the Platte in 1875, he was engaged in the hard-fought Sioux War of 1876. In Arizona in 1883, Crook led an expedition into the mountains against a Chiricahua band of the Apache and finally succeeded in persuading GeronimoGeronimo
, c.1829–1909, leader of a Chiricahua group of the Apaches, b. Arizona. From his youth he participated in the forays of Cochise, Victorio, and other Apache leaders.
..... Click the link for more information. to return to the reservation (1884). Later, Geronimo broke his pact and escaped, which led to censure of Crook's policies and his voluntary resignation. From 1888 until his death Crook was major general and commander of the Division of the Missouri. Although his fame rested upon his Native American campaigns, Crook also had a reputation for enlightened patience and integrity in dealing with Native American affairs, preferring negotiation to warfare.
See his autobiography (ed. by M. F. Schmitt, 2d ed. 1960) and contemporary accounts by J. F. Finerty (1961) and C. King (rev. ed. 1964).
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Crook, George(1829–90) soldier; born near Dayton, Ohio. A tough, fearless soldier and an efficient commander, he graduated from West Point in 1852 and survived the uninspiring routines of 1850s garrison life to obtain several important commands during the Civil War. He led a Union brigrade at Antietam, Md., in 1862 and a corps under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864, where he fought at Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek. It is as an Indian fighter, however, that Crook is remembered. He pacified Apaches under Cochise from 1871 to 1873 and, during the Sioux War of 1876, was defeated by Crazy Horse at Rosebud Creek. Crook's forces remained in the field for nearly a year during the Sioux campaign, an epic of hardship and endurance. In 1882 and 1883 he fought Geronimo's Apaches in Arizona. For all his fierceness in battle, Crook was "more prone to pardon than to punish," according to one authority; unlike many fellow officers, he respected his Indian adversaries and believed they should be granted the full privileges of citizenship.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.