Get to know Philip St. George Cooke

Philip St. George CookeThis is General Philip St. George Cooke.  Other than having a town name in common with the Mormon people he was significant for one very important reason.

Cooke as a young officer was given command of the Mormon Battalion during the Mexican War of 1846.  He was first linked up to the Battalion at Santa Fe and took them on the trek across to California.

Thanks to his work with the Mormons he created a solid fighting unit and was praised for the achievements of his unit.  In fact his association with the Battalion helped to point him out to superiors.

Cooke would also cross paths once more with the Mormons as he took part in the expedition to Utah during the “War” of 1857-58.  He before that was an observer for the US Army during the Crimean War.  He would work to develop a good relationship with the Mormons considered a good friend of the church when he left Utah for the Civil War.

Cooke was also better known as a career military officer, serving in the Black Hawk war of 1832.  This all led to his eventual command during the Civil War.  As a Virginian one might expect Cooke to end up on the side of the Confederates.  Where in fact his son and daughters did just that.  His son, John R. Cooke, served as a General in the Confederate Army.  His son-in-law was an even more famous Confederate General J E B Stuart.

Cooke, served as an active officer in the early campaigns in the war at Fredrickburg, Antienam, and the Wilderness battles.  Cooke in the end would work the rest of the war as an administrative position within the army and would retire in 1873 eventually to write a book about his life in the Army.

References:

Government markers and monuments

Give Me Eighty Men By Shannon D. Smith

Obituary from the New York Times

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One Response to Get to know Philip St. George Cooke

  1. Thanks for sharing that.

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