Alexander McCook

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<p>Alexander McCook was born on April 22, 1831, in Columbiana County, Ohio. The next year, he moved with his parents to Carroll County. In 1848, McCook received an appointment to West Point, graduating in 1852. McCook would spend the rest of his life in the United States Army.</p>
<p>Upon graduation, McCook was commissioned as a second lieutenant. His first assignment took him to Newport News, Virginia. In August 1853, McCook reported for duty at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. He spent the summer of 1854 in a campaign against the Apache Indians natives and, in September 1854, was reassigned to Fort Union, New Mexico. Between the autumn of 1854 and the end of 1857, McCook served in numerous campaigns against Native Americans in the West.</p><p>On January 14, 1858, McCook became an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point. He held this position until April 22, 1861. On that date, he was dispatched to Columbus, Ohio, to muster in new recruits for the North's Union war effort against the SouthConfederacy. During the Civil War, McCook was one of the &quot;Fighting McCooks.&quot; Fifteen men from the McCook family served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Fourteen of these men were officers. Alexander McCook became the colonel of the First Ohio Infantry. This unit was sent to Washington, DC, to help defend the nation's capital in May 1861. He led the First Ohio at the Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. For his bravery and organizational abilities, McCook was appointed as a brigadier-general of volunteers.</p>
<p>During 1862, McCook served in the Midwest and Mississippi Valley. He helped organize the Second Division of the Army of Ohio and led the division during General Don Carlos Buell's attack on Nashville, Tennessee, in February 1862. McCook commanded this same division at the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862, and both he and his men performed bravely. Following Shiloh, McCook assumed command of the Army of Ohio's reserve forces and participated in the siege of Corinth, Mississippi.</p>
<p>In June 1862, McCook led a division of the Army of Ohio into East Tennessee, hoping to protect the large number of Unionists in that region. Confederate advances during the summer of 1862 prompted the Army of Ohio to retreat to Louisville, Kentucky. McCook, now in command of the First Corps of the Army of Ohio, attacked the advancing Confederates when he was himself attacked, ignoring orders to avoid combat, at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky. McCook's troops were hit hard during the battle, and General Buell strongly reprimanded McCook for his actions. Despite battering the Union troops, the Confederates retreated as soon as they had the chance and the Union, despite the hard fighting emerged victorious.</p>