General George Crook
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
368 Pages | 6 x 8 | 16 b&w illus., 5 maps
A West Point graduate of 1852, General Crook spent his entire military career, with the exception of the four Civil War years, 1861 to 1865, on the frontier. His life paralleled western expansion during the latter half of the nineteenth century. In 1890, at the time of this death, he was commanding general of the Department of the Missouri, the largest and most active of all frontier commands. The Rogue River and Yakima wars in the eighteen fifties, Paiute pacification in the late sixties, the Apache campaigns of the seventies and eighties—all found Crook actively involved, fighting, counseling and making peace with the Indians.
His Civil War experiences, while not uniformly successful or profitable, brought him into close contact with the great military figures of the day. He was a favorite of Grant’s and a close associate of Sheridan, who had been in his class at West Point. His blunt, sometimes caustic opinions of his associates and the conduct of campaigns are new and often refreshing.General Crook’s autobiography covers the period from Crook’s graduation from West Point in 1852 to June 18, 1876, the day after the famous Battle of the Rosebud. The editor has supplemented it with other material, some from the Crook diaries and letters and contemporary clippings, on the other years of the General’s life.
"A story straightforward, readable, accurate, and interesting, packed with detail and saturated with a strong western flavor.... The importance of this book lies not merely in its considerable contribution to our knowledge of military history and to the intimate and sometimes trenchant remarks made by Crook about his colleagues, but more particularly in the revelation of the character and aims of the general himself." - Chicago Tribune
"When Red Cloud, the Sioux chief, heard of the death of his old antagonist, the Army officer the called Three Stars, he told a missionary, ’...He, at least, never lied to us.’ ...General Sherman called Crook the greatest Indian fighter and manager the Army ever had. Yet this man who was the most effective campaigner against the Indians had won their respect and trust. To understand why, you ought to read General George Crook: His Autobiography, edited and annotated by Martin F. Schmitt."—Los Angeles Times
"No student of the Civil War or of the West can afford to ignore it."—New York Times Book Review
"The frank analysis of situations and blunt, occasionally caustic, judgments of men and situations make interesting reading. Students of this period will find much material in this objective and lively book."—Cavalry Journal
"A valuable book for the serious student of history...it also should prove stimulating to the casual reader who has a liking for adventure."—Western Folklore