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George Crook’s beard splinters into two point halves perhaps as a testament to the fate of his nation splintered by the horrors of war.

A born and raised Ohioan, Crook started the war in the infantry before rising to cavalry commander in Southwest Virginia. Crook famously helped General Philip Sheridan burn down the Shenandoah Valley in 1864, and was briefly captured by Confederate raiders in the war’s final year. A life-long army man, Crook’s biggest fame came commanding U.S. military operations against the Sioux on the frontier. It was there his subordinate George Armstrong Custer met his legendary demise.

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