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Few frontier military officers could claim a more varied and significant combat career during the second half of the nineteenth century than George Crook. Beginning with service as a young lieutenant in the Rogue River War and the Yakima War of the 1850s, he learned quickly about the weaknesses of an army that suffered from underfunding, congressional neglect, low morale, and petty bickering among its officer corps. Despite his commanding troops during the next three decades in some of the most celebrated Indian wars of the Great Plains and Southwest, he also developed an empathy for his adversaries who suffered from many government abuses he helped expose.


Published in Great Plains Quarterly, vol. 22, no. 2 (Spring 2002). Published by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Copyright © 2000 Center for Great Plains Studies. Used by permission.