History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Alexander McDowell McCook

Scroll down to see images of the item below the description


McCook responds to a university professor

Alexander McDowell McCook, 1831-1903.  Union General, American Civil War.  Autographed Letter Signed, A McD McCook, one page, 4¾" x 7¾", with integral leaf attached, Dayton, Ohio, May 8, 1895.

The general, writing in the year of his retirement from the United States Army, sends a courtesy reply to W. C. Stevenson.  “I thank you,” he writes, "for your kind remembrance."  He signs the letter with his rank, “Major General  /  U. S. Army."

This letter comes from a large collection of letters, notes, and signatures assembled by Stevenson, a professor of penmanship at the State Normal School at Emporia, Kansas, now Emporia State University.  He had his students write to prominent men and women to request a handwritten letter expressing a reminiscence, a favorite sentiment, or a word of advice.  As this letter shows, he also wrote himself to people of note. 

The highest ranking member of the legendary “Fighting McCooks of Ohio,” fourteen family members who all served in the Civil War, McCook saw action at First Bull Run; Nashville, Tennessee; the Battle of Shiloh and the subsequent Battle of Corinth; the Battle of Stones River; and Chickamauga.  He received substantial credit for the Union victory under General Ulysses S. Grant on the second day of the Battle of Shiloh after Grant suffered a bloody loss on the first day.  McCookʼs command suffered heavily at Chickamauga, however, and McCook was court-martialed for his role in the defeat, although he was acquitted:  The court decided that he may have made a tactical error by ordering his troops from the field of battle but that “his gallant conduct in the engagement forbids the idea that he was influenced by consideration of personal safety."  McCook was relieved of command of Army of the Cumberland but was later given command of the defenses around Washington, D.C., and defeated Confederate Jubal A. Earlyʼs troops in two days' battles around Fort Stevens and Fort DeRussy.

McCook went on to play a role in defense of the Native American uprisings in the West.  He commanded Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from 1886 to 1890.  He became a full brigadier general in 1890 and a major general in 1894.  A year after his retirement from the Army in 1895, General and Mrs. McCook represented President Grover Cleveland at the coronation of Russiaʼs Czar Nicholas II.  In 1898-1899, McCook served on a commission to investigate the War Departmentʼs conduct of the Spanish-American War.

McCook has penned this letter in black fountain pen.  The letter is in very fine condition.  It has two horizontal mailing folds and mounting traces on the back of the integral leaf, which has been tipped to the front leaf at the upper and lower right corners.  There is a small collectorʼs pencil notation in the blank area at the lower left.

Unframed.  Click here for information about custom framing this piece.


Click here to see other Civil War and American History autographs.





home  |  presidents  |  supreme court  |  american history  |  world history  |  contact us


© History In Ink, L.L.C.




 Registered Dealer # RD281