General Crocker attended West Point in 1847- 1849 but dropped out to take up the practice of law in Des Moines, Iowa. When the Civil War began he gave up his law practice. He served with his regiment in Missouri before being tapped to command a new regiment. At Shiloh, he was briefly in command of a brigade and immediately afterwards he was given charge of a brigade of Iowa troops with which he was long associated.
This brigade was made up of the 11th, 13th, 15th, and 16th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. This was on April 27, 1862 he was in command of his brigade until May 1863. It was called Crocker Brigade and was one of Iowa's most distinguished. Even after Marcellus Crocker was promoted to higher field of duty the men still to themselves as Crocker's Brigade. This Brigade stayed together through out the war.
General Crocker fought at Cornith, Mississippi and was in command of division during the Vickburg Campaign, particularly distinguishing himself at Champion Hill. From the summer of 1863 to spring of 1864 his division was engaged operations in Louisiana and Mississippi. During the movements of the Corps to join Sherman's Army in the Atlanta Campaign he was force to relinquish command due to ill health. He suffered from tuberculosis.
He was then to duty in the Department of New Mexico for health reasons but was sufficiently recovered by the end of the yearto be ordered to report to Thomas's Army at Nashville, Tennessee. But before he reported, he was ordered to Washington D.C. There was much speculation about Crocker's possibly being assigned to command in West Virginia. By the time he reached the nations capital the war was nearing its conclusion and his health, having worsened, precluded active field duty. he died in Washington D.C. on August 26, 1865.
General Crocker was buried at Woodland Cemetery in
Des Moines. The rest of General Crocker 's family was buried next to him
at Woodland Cemetery.
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