Book Review: Brigadier General Robert L. McCook and Colonel Daniel McCook, Jr.: A Union Army Dual Biography


by Wayne Fanebust

Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017. Pp. vi, 298. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $35.00 paper. ISBN: 1476669864

Two of the Famous “Fighting McCooks”

The extended McCook family of Ohio sent seventeen of its members into Union blue during the Civil War, six of whom died in the service. In this volume, independent scholar Fanebust, the author of, among other works, Major General Alexander M. McCook, takes a look at the lives and service of two of the lesser known 17 “Fighting McCooks of Ohio”.

Robert L. McCook (1827-1862), who had been a partner in a law firm with one of his brothers and future Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, raised the 9th Ohio at the outbreak of the war. He quickly rose to brigade command while serving in West Virginia and Kentucky, mostly in small affairs. He was murdered by Confederate raiders while travelling in a wagon, recovering from an earlier wound.

Daniel McCook, Jr. (1834-1864), a law partner of William T. Sherman, went to war with the 1st Kansas, later commanded the 52nd Ohio under Rosecrans in the heartland, and then a brigade under Sherman in the Atlanta campaign, until mortally wounded leading a desperate attack at Kennesaw Mountain.

Fanebust devotes about half his text to each of his subjects. In doing so, however, he often cuts back and forth to tie them together, and present a coherent view of the war and the role of all the McCooks in it. As he does so, Fanebust also gives us many insightful glimpses at military life, politics, and family ties in the period.

Brigadier General Robert L. McCook and Colonel Daniel McCook, Jr. is a good read for anyone interested in Civil War America.


Note: Brigadier General Robert L. McCook and Colonel Daniel McCook, Jr. is also available in several e-editions


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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