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John James McCook (Physician)

February 21, 1806– October 11, 1865

A member of the famed "Fighting McCooks," John James McCook served as a surgeon for the Union army during the Civil War.

John James McCook was born on February 21, 1806 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Some sources claim that McCook was born on February 22, 1806. He was the son of George and Mary McCormack McCook. McCook graduated from Jefferson College (later renamed Washington and Jefferson College) in Washington, Pennsylvania. He then graduated from the Medical College of Ohio in Cincinnati, Ohio. Afterward, McCook practiced medicine in New Lisbon, where he contemplated opening a woolen mill, and Steubenville, Ohio.

When the American Civil War began, McCook volunteered his services to the Union as an army surgeon. The doctor most notably treated wounded soldiers after the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee (April 6-7, 1862). McCook and his wife, Catherine Sheldon McCook, had five sons who also served the Union during the Civil War. McCook survived the war but died from dysentery shortly after the conflict’s conclusion, while visiting the military headquarters of his son, Anson, near Washington, D.C. on October 11, 1865. He was buried at Union Cemetery in Steubenville, Ohio.

McCook was a member of the “Fighting McCooks,” fifteen family members who served the Union during the Civil War. McCook and his sons were known as the “Tribe of John.” His brother, Dan, and Dan’s sons were known as the “Tribe of Dan.” More men from the McCook family served the Union during the Civil War than any other family in the nation.

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