Fighting McCooks

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The Fighting McCooks were members of a family of Ohioans who reached prominence as officers in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Two brothers, Daniel and John McCook, and thirteen of their sons were involved in the army, making the family one of the most prolific in American military history. Six of the McCooks reached the rank of brigadier general or higher. Several family members were killed in action or died from their wounds. Following the war, several others reached high political offices, including governorships and diplomatic posts.

The family[edit]

painting of 'Tribe of Dan' at Daniel McCook House
Historical marker in front of Daniel's house in Carrollton

Daniel McCook, a Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, attorney, had moved to eastern Ohio in 1826, settling in Carrollton. His younger brother John also soon moved to the Buckeye State. Their clans would become affectionately known as the "Tribe of Dan" and the "Tribe of John." Yet another brother, Dr. George McCook (1795-1873), and his son Dr. George Latimer McCook (1824-1874) served as unpaid surgeons during the Civil War, the latter serving under George B. McClellan during the Peninsula Campaign. Their father, another George McCook (1752-1822), had emigrated from Armoy, Ulster to Pennsylvania and had fought in the Whiskey Rebellion.

"Tribe of Dan"

"Tribe of John"

Daniel McCook's house in Carrollton, Ohio, is preserved as a museum. McCook Field, a former air station near Dayton, Ohio (1917–1927), was named in honor of the Fighting McCooks. A granite memorial to Daniel McCook, Jr. is at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, and a marker to his father is located on State Route 124, near Buffington Island in the Ohio River.

A number of the McCooks, as well as wives and children, are interred in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as Bend, Oregon and Miami, Florida.

McCook Field, the experimental station of the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps and its successor the United States Army Air Service, located in Dayton, Ohio was named for the McCooks. It was operated from 1917 to 1927 before it was moved north to a larger facility at Wilbur Wright Field, that later became Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.


  1. ^ Howe, p. 369.


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