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Martha McCook :A unique mother in history
There are instances, when mothers haven't thought twice about sacrificing their sons at the altar for the motherland. 'The Fighting McCooks', portrays one such mother, Martha, who offered all her sons to the country, during the American Civil War.
MARTHA MCCOOK, from the small town of Carrollton-in Ohio, gave all her nine sons to serve the union, during the American civil war. There is no such example in the recorded history of the US, or any other country.

Martha’s sons and their nearest relatives, famously known as ’fighting McCooks’, were the 17 members of the daring Scotch-Irish family, who fought on 46 battlefields in 11 states. Six of them became generals and four were killed. Their true story is recounted in the award-winning book, ’The Fighting McCooks’ by Charles and Barbara Whalen.

McCook’s youngest son, John, sought her permission to join the US army, during the second year of the civil war. John was a student of Ohio’s Kenyon college and the only member of the family, who was not fighting for the country.

McCook gave her permission and John was about to join the 52nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry regiment. But a few days later, Martha lost her fourth son and national hero, Brigadier General, Robert McCook. He was murdered by the rebel guerrillas in Alabama. After his elder brother’s funeral, John asked his mother if he still had her permission to volunteer.

His mother, in spite of her great sorrow, found the Spartan strength to do what she had taught her nine sons to do. She honoured her word. John joined the army and rose to the rank of colonel.

Among the seventeen ’fighting McCooks’, there were three major generals, three brigadier generals, one naval lieutenant, four surgeons, two colonels, one major, one lieutenant, one private employee and one chaplain.

The book, ’The Fighting McCooks’, sheds new light on the crucial Western battles.

After the war, colonel John McCook commissioned his mother’s marble bust, resting on the mantel in the parlour, in Italy. It honours the mother, who gave all her sons to the nation and lost four of them, and also her husband, during the civil war.
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