Lot 97: Signed CDV Photo of Highest Ranking Officer of Civil War's "Fighting McCooks"
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Stunning Signed CDV Photograph of the Highest Ranking Officer of the Civil War’s “Fighting McCooks” ********** MCCOOK, ALEXANDER MCDOWELL. (1831-1903). Civil War Union general. SP. (signed twice: “A. McD. McCook”). 1p. CDV. N.p., N.d. A sepia Brady image of a seated McCook in uniform, signed on the lower photographer’s mount with his various ranks. On the recto: “Maj[or] Gen[eral] U.S. Vol[unteers]” and on the verso: “Col[onel] 6th Inf[antry] B[re]v[e]t Maj[or] Gen[era]l.” ********** A career soldier, during the Civil War McCook became the highest ranking member of the “Fighting McCooks,” 14 McCook brothers and cousins of whom six attained the rank of brigadier general or higher. McCook’s volunteer service began in 1861, and he participated in the First Battle of Bull Run, earning the rank of brigadier general, and the Battle of Shiloh, after which he was promoted to Major General. However, the following year his units suffered heavy losses in the Battles of Perryville, Stones River and Chickamauga, resulting in McCook’s court martial and the loss of his command. ********** He resigned from the volunteer service after the war and enlisted in the Regular Army. “Despite the seeming distrust in which he was held by his superiors, he was awarded the brevets of brigadier and major general in the Regular Army at the end of the war and was promoted lieutenant colonel, 26th Infantry, in 1867. Significantly, during the Regular Army reorganization which followed the end of the war in July, 1866, McCook’s rank of captain, 3rd Infantry, was not augmented, certainly a unique circumstance for one who was a major general of volunteers and by brevet in the Regulars. Nevertheless, McCook advanced in the service to colonel (1880), brigadier general (1890), and major general (1894),” (Generals in Blue, Warner). His post-bellum career also included five years as General William T. Sherman’s aide-de-camp and command of Fort Leavenworth. ********** Bearing the purple ink handstamp of the Brady Studio on the verso. Some light wear and in fine condition.