Happy 185th Birthday to Major General George Crook
by Phil Spaugy
Today is the 185th Birthday of Major General George Crook. A son of the great state of OHIO, Crook was born on this day in 1828, near the small Miami-Erie canal town of Taylorsville, Ohio. A 1852 graduate of West Point, General Crook was a renowned officer in the Civil War, at different times commanding infantry and cavalry divisions in both the eastern and western theaters of the war. But his greatest fame came as perhaps the greatest and most respected Indian fighter in the Indian Wars. Fresh out of West Point, George was assigned to the 4th U.S. Infantry which was stationed in the Pacific Northwest, spending the the next 8 years in action against the Indian tribes of that region. After the America Civil War, he fought against the tribes of the American West, with his greatest fame coming with his successful campaigns against the Apaches, who came to hold him in such high regard they nicknamed him “Nantan Lupan” which means “Grey Wolf”
Other than those interested in U.S. military history during the last half of the 19th century, Crook is largely forgotten today. The site of his birthplace near modern day Huber Heights, Ohio is unmarked by any sort of historical marker, a situation that I hope to be able to rectify in the near future.