George Croghan, son of Major William Croghan and Lucy Clark, was born near Louisville, Kentucky, on November 15, 1791. His mother was the sister of William Clark, the famous explorer, and George Rogers Clark, the Revolutionary War General. George graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1810 and studied law briefly before volunteering as a dragoon to fight Indians in the Northwest Territory. He joined the U.S. Army in 1812 and was quickly promoted to major. In 1813, at the age of 21, Croghan gained national acclaim from his successful defense of Fort Stephenson in northeastern Ohio, when he repelled a large British force lead by General Proctor.
Croghan left the military in 1816 and traveled east to New York, where he met and married Serena Eliza Livingston, daughter of J. R. Livingston. Together, they had seven children. The family moved to New Orleans in 1824, where Croghan worked first as postmaster, and then, in 1825, as inspector general of the U.S. Army, a position he kept until 1845. Croghan often gambled and was perpetually in debt. To pay off his debts, he worked, for a time, managing construction near Mammoth Cave on a lot owned by his brother, Dr. John Croghan. He escaped a court martial for repeatedly requesting double payments for his wages, and left New Orleans to fight in the Mexican War. After contracting cholera in Monterrey, Mexico, he returned to New Orleans and died soon after in 1849.