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Croghan, George

Born: 1791-11-15 Jefferson County, Kentucky

Died: 1849-01-08 New Orleans, Louisiana

Claiming both William Clark and George Rogers Clark as uncles, Croghan grew up in frontier Kentucky before attending the College of William & Mary. After graduating in 1810, he briefly studied law before enlisting in 1811 as a dragoon to fight Native Americans in the northwest. Croghan fought alongside William Henry Harrison at Tippecanoe and won promotion to captain and major during the War of 1812. He became famous for his defense of Fort Stephenson in 1813, despite Harrison's order to evacuate. After the war, he moved to New York where he married Serena E. Livingston, with whom he had seven children. The couple split their time between New York and New Orleans, with Croghan serving as postmaster of New Orleans in 1824. Badly in debt, he earned appointment as inspector general of the army in 1825 and remained in that office until 1845. That year, President James K. Polk, on the recommendation of Winfield Scott, instituted court martial proceedings against Croghan due to several suspected double payments caused by Croghan's consistent debt problems. His family helped him escape the worst aspects of the case but his wife obtained a legal separation from him to protect her assets. Croghan raised troops for the Mexican War and served briefly under Zachary Taylor before returning to New Orleans due to an illness. He died of cholera.

Samuel W. Thomas, "Croghan, George," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 5:754-55.