Alexander McDowell McCook

Taken in the Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton County.

ALEXANDER MCDOWELL McCOOK was second in rank only to General Joseph Hooker among the generals buried in Spring Grove Cemetery. For nearly two years he was an army corps commander in the Army of the Cumberland. He was born April 22, 1831, in Columbiana County, Ohio, one of the famous "Fighting McCooks." His father, Daniel McCook, who is also buried in Spring Grove, contributed eight sons to the Union Army. His uncle, Dr. John McCook, had as sons one major general, one brigadier general, and two lieutenants in the army, and one naval lieutenant. However, among all the McCooks, Alexander McDowell was the only one who was a professional soldier. All the others were civilians without military experience before the war started.

Alexander McDowell McCook was graduated from West Point in 1852, served in the regular army at frontier posts, and later became an instructor at West Point At the start of the war he was named colonel of the West Ohio Volunteers and took part in the first battle of Bull Run. Transferred to the West he first commanded a brigade, then a division, and was soon promoted to command of an army corps. He took part in the battles of Shiloh, Perryville, Stones River, the Tullahoma campaign, and the battle of Chickamauga. Although he was exonerated by a board of inquiry for the disaster that befell his army corps at the battle of Chickamauga, he was never again given high command. He remained in the regular army after the war, serving much time at frontier posts. He advanced through the ranks and had reached the rank of major general in the regular army when he retired in 1895. Among his many interesting postwar services was his assignment in 1896 to represent the United States at the coronation ceremonies of Czar Nicholas II of Russia. General McCook died in Dayton, Ohio, June 12,1903, at age seventy-two.


Previous Page