Marcellus Monroe Crocker

Marcellus Monroe Crocker was born February 6, 1830, in Franklin, Indiana. He entered West Point with the class of 1851, but left in February, 1849, to study law; he began practice in Des Moines, Iowa. On May 27, 1861, he was mustered into the volunteer army as a captain of the 2nd Iowa Infantry and on May 31 became its major. In September he was made lieutenant colonel and in December, colonel of the 13th Iowa. During Crocker's association with the 2nd Iowa it performed mainly railroad guard duty in Missouri. The 13th Iowa's first important service was at Shiloh, where Crocker led it in the 1st Brigade of John McClernand's division and where it sustained 172 casualties. Shortly thereafter Crocker was given command of the "Iowa Brigade," 6th Division, Army of the Tennessee. He took part in the battle of Corinth in October, 1862, and was promoted to brigadier general to rank from November 29 of that year. In the Vicksburg campaign he directed a division of James B. McPherson's XVII Corps. In September, 1863, his division conducted a minor raid into Louisiana; then it was in garrison at Natchez during the fall and winter. Crocker had long suffered from tuberculosis and in May, 1864, while the XVII Corps was en route to Georgia to join W. T. Sherman's army, he was relieved because of illness and the following month submitted his resignation, which was not accepted. Instead, he was ordered to duty in New Mexico, where it was thought his health might improve. In December, 1864, he felt so much better that he was ordered to report to General G. H. Thomas at Nashville. U. S. Grant remarked of Crocker at the time: "I have never seen but three or four division commanders his equal." However, the order assigning him to Thomas (84) either miscarried or was countermanded, since in March he was ordered to Washington instead. Here his condition gradually worsened, and he died on August 26, 1865. General Crocker's remains were returned to Des Moines for burial in Woodland Cemetery.

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Reference:  Generals in Blue.  Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Louisiana State University Press.  Baton Rouge.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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