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 eightiesâall 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 Grantâs 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 Crookâs autobiography covers the period from Crookâs 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 Generalâs life.
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