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George Crook

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 Geronimo 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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