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Mccook, Alexander Mcdowell

McCOOK, ALEXANDER MCDOWELL (1831-1903), American soldier, was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, on the 22nd of April 1831. He graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1852, served against the Apaches and Utes in New Mexico in 1853-57, was assistant instructor of infantry tactics at the military academy in 1858-1861, and in April 1861 became colonel of the 1st Ohio Volunteers. He served in the first battle of Bull Run; commanded a brigade in Kentucky in the winter of 1861, a division in Tennessee and Mississippi early in 1862, and the 1st Corps in Kentucky in October of the same year; was in command of Nashville in November and December of that year; and was then engaged in Tennessee until after the battle of Chickamauga, after which he saw no active service at the front during the Civil War. He was promoted to be brigadiergeneral of volunteers in September 1861, and to be major-general of volunteers in July 1862, earned the brevet of lieutenant-colonel in the regular army at the capture of Nashville, Tennessee, that of colonel at Shiloh, and that of brigadier-general at Perryville, and in March 1865 was breveted major-general for his services during the war. In February-May 1865 he commanded the district of Eastern Arkansas. He resigned from the volunteer service in October 1865, was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the 26th Infantry in March 1867, served in Texas, mostly in garrison duty, until 1874, and in 1886-1890 (except for brief terms of absence) commanded Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the infantry and cavalry school there. He became a brigadier-general in 1890, and a major-general in 1894; retired in 1895; and in 1898-1899 served on a commission to investigate the United States department of war as administered during the war with Spain.

His father, DANIEL McCooK (1798-1863), killed at Buffington's Island during General John H. Morgan's raid in Ohio, and seven of his eight brothers (three of whom were killed in battle) all served in the Civil War; this family and that of JOHN McCooK (1806-1865), Daniel's brother, a physician, who served as a volunteer surgeon in the Civil War, are known as the " fighting McCooks " four of John's sons served in the Union army and one in the Union navy.

JOHN JAMES McCooK (b. 1845), the youngest brother of Alexander McDowell McCook, served in the West and afterwards in the army of the Potomac, was wounded at Shady Grove, Virginia, in 1864, and in 1865 was breveted lieutenantcolonel of volunteers; he graduated at Kenyon College in 1866, subsequently practised law in New York City, where he became head of the firm Alexander & Green; was a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church, and was a member of the prosecuting committee in the Briggs heresy trial in 1892-1893.

His cousin, ANSON GEORGE McCooK (b. 1835), son of John, was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1861, served throughout the Civil War in the Union Army, and was breveted brigadiergeneral of volunteers; he was a Republican representative in Congress from New York in 1877-1883; and in 1884-1893 was secretary of the United States Senate.

Another son of John McCook, EDWARD MOODY McCooK (1833-1909), was an efficient cavalry officer in the Union army, was breveted brigadier-general in the regular army and majorgeneral of volunteers in 1865, was United States minister to Hawaii in 1866-1869, an d was governor of Colorado Territory in 1869-1873, and in 1874-1875.

His brother, HENRY CHRISTOPHER McCooK (b. 1837), was first lieutenant and afterwards chaplain of the 41st Illinois, was long pastor of the Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and was president of the American Presbyterian Historical Society, but is best known for his popular and excellent works on entomology, which include: The Mound-making Ants of the Alleghanies (1877); The Natural History of the Agricultural Ants of Texas (1879); Tenants of an Old Farm (1884) ; American Spiders and their Spinning-work (3 vols., 1880 1893), Nature's Craftsmen (1907) and Ant Communities (1909).

Another brother, JOHN JAMES McCooK (b. 1843), a cousin of the lawyer of the same name, was a 2nd lieutenant of volunteers in the Union army in 1861; graduated at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in 1863, and at the Berkeley divinity school in 1866; entered the Protestant Episcopal ministry in 1867, and in 1869 became rector of St John's, East Hartford, Connecticut; became professor of modern languages in Trinity College, Hartford, in 1883; in 1895-1897 was president of the board of directors of the Connecticut reformatory; and wrote on prison reform and kindred topics.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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