A member of the famed "Fighting McCooks," Brevet Brigadier General Anson McCook participated in the Battle of Bull Run I, took part in many of the major battles and campaigns in the western theater, and served with Major General Philip Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 during the Civil War.
Anson George McCook was born on October 10, 1835 in Steubenville, Ohio. He was the second son of John James McCook and Catherine Sheldon McCook. After attending public school in New Lisbon, Ohio, McCook moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he was employed as a drug clerk from 1850 to 1852. McCook returned to Ohio and taught school at New Lisbon until 1854, when he traveled to the West Coast. McCook spent the next five years in California and Nevada, engaged principally as a miner. In 1859, he returned to Ohio to study law in the Steubenville law office of Stanton & McCook.
When the Civil War began, McCook enlisted on April 17, 1861 in the Union Army for three months as captain of the 2nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In that capacity, he participated in the Battle of Bull Run I (July 21, 1861). When the 2nd OVI's original three-month term expired, McCook reenlisted with the reorganized unit for a three-year period. During those three years, McCook and the 2nd OVI served under generals Don Carlos Buell, William S. Rosecrans and George H. Thomas with the Army of the Cumberland. McCook participated in many of the major battles and campaigns in the western theater of the Civil War, including the Battle of Perryville (October 8, 1862), the Battle of Stones River (December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863), the Tullahoma Campaign (June 24-July 3, 1863), the Battle of Lookout Mountain (November 24, 1863), the Battle of Missionary Ridge (November 25, 1863), and the Atlanta Campaign (May 7-September 2, 1864). After the Battle of Stones River, McCook was promoted to colonel and given command of the regiment. He remained in command of the 2nd OVI for the remainder of its existence. As a brigade commander at the Battle of Peach Tree Creek (July 20, 1864), during the Atlanta Campaign, McCook was cited for his outstanding performance. When the 2nd Ohio Infantry completed its three years of service, Ohio Governor John Brough named McCook as colonel of the newly created 194th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In that capacity, McCook served as a brigade commander in the Shenandoah Valley under Philip Sheridan in 1864. At the conclusion of the Civil War, McCook was brevetted to brigadier general of volunteers.
After the Civil War, McCook returned to Steubenville Ohio and served as U. S. Assessor of Internal Revenue. In 1866, he was admitted to the Ohio bar. In May 1873, McCook moved to New York City. There, he founded the Daily Register (later named the New York Law Journal), and he became president of the New York Law Publishing Company. While living in New York, McCook entered the political arena and was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth, and Forty-seventh Congresses, holding office from March 4, 1877 to March 3, 1883. He lost his Congressional seat in the election of 1882. Following his failed bid for reelection, McCook served as Secretary of the United States Senate from 1883 to 1893. He was ousted from that position when Democrats took control of the Senate in the election of 1892. From 1895 to 1898, McCook served as chamberlain of the city of New York, handling the city's affairs. Upon leaving that office, McCook spent his remaining years engaged as president of his publishing company.
McCook died in New York City on December 30, 1917. He is buried in 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's father and five sons who served in the war were known as the “Tribe of John.” His uncle and eight cousins who served in the war 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.
Cite this Entry
"Anson George McCook," Ohio Civil War Central, 2022, Ohio Civil War Central. 27 May 2022 <http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=876>
"Anson George McCook." (2022) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved May 27, 2022, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=876
- 194th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry
- 4th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry
- 94th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry
- Army of the Cumberland
- Atlanta Campaign
- Battle of Bull Run I
- Battle of Lookout Mountain
- Battle of Perryville
- Battle of Stones River
- Don Carlos Buell
- Fighting McCooks
- John Brough
- John J. McCook (Physician)
- Ohio Volunteer Infantry
- Philip H. Sheridan
- Tribe of John
- Tullahoma Campaign