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George Wythe McCook

November 2, 1821 – December 28, 1877

A member of the famed "Fighting McCooks," former Ohio Attorney General George W. McCook was one of the first four brigade commanders of Ohio volunteers during the Civil War.

George Wythe; McCook was born at Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, on November 2, 1821. He was the second oldest son of Daniel McCook and Martha Latimer (McCook). McCook moved with his family to New Lisbon, Ohio in 1826 and later settled in Carrollton. He was educated at Ohio University. McCook studied law with Edwin M. Stanton, future Secretary of War in President Abraham Lincoln’s administration, and later became his partner in Steubenville, Ohio.

McCook served as an officer with the 3rd Ohio Regiment during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). He served as attorney general of the State of Ohio from 1854 to 1856. Soon after the American Civil War began, McCook volunteered for service with the Union Army, and Governor William Dennison appointed him as one of the first four brigade commanders of Ohio volunteers. McCook’s poor health prevented him from seeing any combat action during the war. As lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, McCook spent much of the war recruiting volunteers for several regiments. Dennison also appointed McCook as Ohio’s adjutant general. After serving in that capacity, he later accepted an appointment as colonel of the 157th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a Hundred Days Regiment, and he supervised the prisoner-of-war camp at Fort Delaware. When the war ended, McCook was awarded the brevet rank of brigadier general of the volunteer army, dating from March 13, 1865.

After the Civil War, McCook resumed his legal career in Steubenville. In 1871, he received the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio, but he lost to another former Union Army officer, Colonel Edward F. Noyes, by more than twenty thousand votes.

McCook died on December 28, 1877. He was buried at Steubenville, Ohio

McCook was a member of the “Fighting McCooks,” fifteen family members who served the Union during the Civil War. McCook’s father, Daniel McCook, and his eight sons who served in the war were known as the “Tribe of Dan.” McCook’s uncle, John McCook, and five of his sons who served in the war were known as the “Tribe of John.” Daniel McCook, along with four of his sons (Latimer, Robert, Daniel Jr., and Charles) died from wounds received during the Civil War.

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