(September 9, 1830 - March 21, 1890)
George Crook was one of the most effective and fair of all the military leaders on the western frontier. Some may argue this opinion.
After graduating from West Point, George was assigned to California where white abuse of the Shasta indians had a profound affect on him. Later, he was comissioned to Oregon and during the Civil War breveted Major General for his exceptional performance, went to Idaho, Arizona, waged a winter campaign with Reynolds on the Powder River in Montana, stopped at the Rosebud on his way to meet Custer, lead the starvation march against the Sioux in South Dakota and returned to Arizona.
During this time in Arizona, Crook used Apache scouts to help in the negotiations for the surrender of Geronimo. His persuasive techniques came to the forefront during this period. It was a slow process and finally unsubstantiated rumors caused the Apaches to bolt. Crook was relieved of his duties.
He served as command for the Department of the Platte until his death.
George Crook's negotiations always included the welfare for both sides, red and white. He understood the temperament and view of the native americans. Rarely spectacular, never foolish, the western frontier might have been a different place without George Crook.
George Crook is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm
Drawing by Richard Florence
Books About George Crook
On the Border with Crook by John G. Bourke
Written by a member of his military staff, this book provides a perspective of George Crook which will leave you admiring a man who had to juggle duty and conscious.
Slim Buttes, 1876 by Jerome A. Greene
This book provides information on the forced starvation march against the Sioux shortly after the Little Big Horn. Contains good information on George Crook during this time period.