Marcellus M. Crocker

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Marcellus Monroe Crocker
Marcellus-M-Crocker.jpg
Brig. Gen. Marcellus M. Crocker
Born (1830-02-06)February 6, 1830
Franklin, Indiana
Died August 26, 1865(1865-08-26) (aged 35)
Washington, D.C.
Place of burial Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa
Allegiance United States of America
Union
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861 - 1865
Rank Brigadier General
Commands held 4th Division, XVII Corps
Battles/wars American Civil War

Marcellus Monroe Crocker (February 6, 1830 – August 26, 1865) was a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War most noted for his service in the Western Theater.

Biography[edit]

Crocker was born in Franklin, Indiana. He entered the United States Military Academy in 1847, but left at the end of his second year. He subsequently studied law and practiced in Des Moines, Iowa.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, he entered the army as the captain of the 2nd Iowa Infantry in May 1861. He was promoted to colonel of the 13th Iowa Infantry on December 30, 1861. Crocker fought with distinction in the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862, where he assumed command of a brigade during the first day. He commanded the "Iowa Brigade" at the Second Battle of Corinth in October, 1862. He was promoted to brigadier general on November 29, 1862.

The following year, he participated in the Vicksburg Campaign, conducting a raid in Mississippi. Crocker had brought his brigade to a high state of discipline, and it was nicknamed "Crocker's Greyhounds" for its swift marching ability. After the re-enlistment of his brigade as veteran volunteers, he assumed command of a division when General Isaac F. Quinby went on sick leave. Crocker led his division into action at the Battle of Jackson. On the morning of May 16, General Quinby returned to duty. However it was deemed necessary to retain Crocker in command of the division as it was deploying for battle at Champion Hill. Crocker received praise for his actions in that battle.

Crocker suffered from consumption throughout his military career. He became very ill en route to join the army of William T. Sherman for the Atlanta Campaign and tendered his resignation, which was not accepted. Instead, he was ordered to duty in New Mexico Territory, where it was thought his health might improve. In December 1864, he felt so much better that he was ordered to report to General George H. Thomas at Nashville.

However, Crocker's condition gradually worsened, and he died on August 26, 1865, in Washington, D.C.. He is buried in Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa.

Honors[edit]

Crocker School, that stood in Des Moines on the North side of School St. between Sixth Ave. and Seventh St. from 1870 until ca. 1962, was named after him, as is the city's present-day Crocker Street.

A bronze bust of General Crocker stands on the Vicksburg National Military Park.

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