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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1827

Vol. I

(Born Va.)

Philip St. George Cooke​a

(Ap'd Va.)


Born June 13, 1809, Leesburg, VA.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1823, to July 1, 1827, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut. of Infantry, July 1, 1827.

Second Lieut., 6th Infantry, July 1, 1827.

Served: in garrison at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 1827‑28, — Ft. Snelling, Min., 1828, — and Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 1829; on frontier duty, on Expedition to Upper Arkansas, 1829, being engaged in Skirmishes with Comanche Indians, Aug. 3 and 11, 1829, — and Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., 1830‑32; in the "Black Hawk" War against the Sac Indians, 1832, being engaged in the Battle of Bad Axe River, Aug. 2, 1832; as Adjutant, 6th Infantry at Regimental headquarters, Sep. 7, 1832, to Mar. 4, 1833; in garrison at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 1833; on frontier duty

(First Lieut., 1st Dragoons, Mar. 4, 1833)

at Ft. Gibson, I. T., — and on Expedition to Tow‑e‑ash Villages, 1834; on Recruiting service, 1835‑36; on frontier duty at Ft. Gibson, I. T.,

(Captain, 1st Dragoons, May 31, 1835)

1836, — Nacogdoches, Tex., 1836, — and Ft. Gibson, I. T., 1837‑38; in garrison at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., 1839; on frontier duty at Ft. Wayne, I. T., 1839‑40, — Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., 1840, — Pottawatomie Country, 1840, — Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., 1841‑42, — Ft. Gibson, I. T., 1842, — escorting Santa Fé traders to Arkansas River, 1843, capturing a Texan Military Expedition, June 30, 1843, — Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., 1844, — Expedition to Pawnee Villages, 1844, — Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., 1844‑45, — Expedition through South Pass of Rocky Mountains, 1845, — and at Ft. Crawford, Wis., 1846; in the War with Mexico, 1846‑48, with the

(Major, 2d Dragoons, Feb. 16, 1847)

Army of the West, as Lieut.‑Colonel in command of Battalion of Missouri Volunteers​b in California, Oct. 16, 1846, to July 16, 1847, — and in command of Regiment in the City of Mexico, 1848; as Superintendent

(Bvt. Lieut.‑Col., Feb. 20, 1847, for Meritorious Conduct in California)

of Cavalry Recruiting Service, at Carlisle Barracks, Pa., Oct. 15, 1848, to Oct. 1, 1852; on frontier duty in Texas, 1852, — in command of Lipan  p398 Expedition, 1852, — Ft. Mason, Tex., 1853, — in New Mexico, 1853‑54, —

(Lieut.‑Colonel, 2d Dragoons, July 15, 1853)

Scouting, 1854, being engaged against Apache Indians, in a Skirmish at Agua Caliente, N. M., Apr. 8, 1854, — Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., 1854‑55, — Sioux Expedition, 1855, being engaged in command of the Cavalry in the Action of Blue Water, Sep. 3, 1855, — Ft. Riley, Kan., 1855‑56, — quelling Kansas Disturbances, 1856‑57, — and on Utah Expedition, in command of the Cavalry, 1857‑58; in preparing a new system of Cavalry

(Colonel, 2d Dragoons, June 14, 1858)

Tactics, 1859, which was adopted for the service, Nov., 1861; on leave of absence in Europe, 1859‑60; and in command of the Department of Utah, Aug. 20, 1860, to Aug. 8, 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: in command

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, Nov. 12, 1861)

of the brigade of Regular Cavalry, in Defense of Washington, D. C., Nov. 28, 1861, to Mar. 10, 1862, — of Cavalry division (Army of the Potomac), in the Virginia Peninsular Campaign, Mar. 24 to July 5, 1862, being engaged in the Siege of Yorktown, Va., Apr. 5–May 4, 1862, — Skirmish near Williamsburg, May 4, 1862, — Battle of Williamsburg, Va., May 5, 1862, — Battle of Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862, — and Battle of Glendale, June 30, 1862; on Courts Martial, July, 1862, to Aug., 1863; in command of Baton Rouge District, Department of the Gulf, Oct. 13, 1863, to May 2, 1864; and as General Superintendent of Recruiting Service of the Army, May 24, 1864, to Mar. 19, 1866.

Bvt. Maj.‑General, U. S. Army, Mar. 13, 1865,
for Gallant and Meritorious Services during the Rebellion.

Served: as Member of Board for Retiring Disabled Officers, Dec. 30, 1865, to Aug. 30, 1866; in command of the Department of the Platte, Apr. 1, 1866, to Jan. 9, 1867; in waiting orders, Jan. 9 to Sep., 1867; as Member of Examining Board for promotion of Volunteer Officers to the Regular Infantry, Apr.‑July, 1867, — and of Retiring Board, Sep., 1867, — and of Cavalry Tactics Board, Sep.‑Nov., 1868; awaiting orders to May 15, 1869; and in command of the Department of the Cumberland, May 15, 1869, to May 4, 1870, — and of Department of the Lakes, May 6, 1870, to Oct. 29, 1873.

Retired from Active Service, Oct. 29, 1873, under the Law of July 17, 1862, he being over the Age of 62 Years.

Civil History. — Author of "Scenes and Adventures in the Army; or, Romance of Military Life," 1856; of "The Conquest of New Mexico and California, — an Historical and Personal Narrative," 1878; and of "New Cavalry Tactics," 1884.

[Supplement, Vol. IV: 1890‑1900]

Vol. IV
Died at Detroit, Mich., March 20, 1895: Aged 86.​c

See Annual Association of Graduates, U. S. M. A., 1895, for an obituary notice.

Buried, Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, MI.

Thayer's Notes:

a What are the odds of another man, another West Point graduate from Virginia, only five years later, unrelated, yet with so similar a name, as elaborate as this one? but do your best not to confuse this man with Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Philip St. George Cocke.

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b These Missouri Volunteers were in fact the Mormon Battalion; see William Hyde's Private Journal, Oct. 6, 1846 and passim.

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c The Register often rounds the age at death up to the next year, as here. Gen. Cooke's tombstone (q.v.) has, correctly, 85 Yrs. &9 Mos.

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Page updated: 16 Oct 13