John Rogers Cooke Bio-Sketch
QUICK FACTS (JRC)
Name: John Rogers Cooke
Rank: Brigadier General
Education: University of Missouri and Harvard College
Birth: June 9, 1833
Place: Jefferson Barracks in Lemay, Missouri
Death: April 10, 1891 (age 57)
Place of Death: Richmond, VA
John Rogers Cooke was born in Missouri at the Jefferson Barracks where his father, Phillip St. George Cooke was stationed. Cooke studied at the University of Missouri and then at Harvard College. Upon graduation from Harvard in 1855, he followed his father’s footsteps and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U. S. Army. In 1861, he was promoted to first lieutenant. Then later that year when the state of Virginia seceded from the Union, he resigned his commission and headed south to offer his services to the Confederacy along with his brother-in-law, J. E. B. Stuart. However, much to his disappointment his father, Phillip St. George Cooke, remained in the service of President Lincoln and the U. S. Army.
In 1861, John Rogers Cooke was appointed a first lieutenant in the Confederate States Army. While in this position, he participated in the battle of
First Manassas or Bull Run. Cooke was elected Colonel of the 27th N. C. Regiment in April 1862. Colonel Cook received wounds in the First Maryland Campaign at the Battle of Sharpsburg. He was able to maintain his field command and was made a Brigadier General in November of 1862.
At the Battle of Fredericksburg Virginia, General Cooke led a brigade in the defense against the Union assault. In the ensuing action, a bullet that pierced his body above the left eye and fractured his skull seriously wounded him. Many thought that his wound was mortal; however, he returned to the Confederate Army in April of 1863 and was in command of a Brigade in the Third Corps under General A. P. Hill. During the Battle of Bristoe Station, while the Third Corps made an attack on the Union II Corps, General Cooke was again seriously wounded by a shot to the shinbone. The General was unable to serve in the field for some time due to this wound. While recovering he served on numerous courts of inquiry in Richmond, Virginia. Upon his return to service, he was again wounded leading his brigade at the Battle of Spotsylvania. He was able to retain field command and led his brigade from horseback. General Cooke received seven wounds during his service to the Confederate Army and still survived the war.
After the war, John Rogers Cooke became a semi-successful businessman in Virginia. He opened a grocery store and numerous other businesses. He and his wife, Nannie (Ann) Gordon Patton, had ten children of which eight lived to be adults. He became very social and active in the Richmond community where he served on the Chamber of Commerce. He helped to found and establish the Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers Home for wounded Confederates in Richmond, Virginia. He and his father eventually mended their strained relationship due to the war. He died in Richmond, Virginia at the age of 57. His remains lie in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.