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John Cook
[[Image:File:JohnCook.jpg|center|200px|border]]John Cook
Personal Information
Born: June 12, 1825(1825-06-12)
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Died: October 13, 1910 (aged 85)
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Birth Name: {{{birth name}}}
Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
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Branch: Union Army
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Rank: Brevet Major General
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Battles: American Civil War
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John Cook (June 12, 1825 – October 13, 1910) was an Illinois politician and a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He served in the Western Theater and played a prominent role in securing the Union victory at the Battle of Fort Donelson, helping to force the surrender of the defenders.

Early life[]

Cook was born in Belleville, Illinois, to a well connected political family. His maternal grandfather, Ninian Edwards, was a U.S. Senator and the Governor of Illinois. His father was Daniel Cook, who was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives at the time. Following Daniel's untimely death at the age of 33, his widow Julia Catherine Cook moved with their only child, John, back to Belleville, where she died three years later, leaving Cook as an orphan.

Cook received a good education and entered the practice of law. He was elected mayor of Springfield, Illinois, in 1855. Cook was the captain and commander of a military company called the Springfield Grays. He also served as quartermaster general of the Illinois militia.

Civil War[]

During the early days of Civil War, Cook's militia company enlisted in Federal service in April 1861. They formed the nucleus of Company I of the 7th Illinois Volunteer Regiment, of which Cook was appointed colonel. At the Battle of Fort Donelson, he commanded the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, District of Cairo, Department of Missouri. Troops under his command captured a key Confederate artillery battery, which paved the way for the subsequent collapse of the defensive line in his sector. After the battle he was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers on March 21, 1862.[1]

Cook later oversaw the military Department of Iowa and Dakota. In the winter of 1862–63, he organized a campaign against the Sioux Nation, with Sioux City, Iowa, as his base of operations. In the spring of 1863, he was relieved by Brig. Gen. Alfred Sully. In November 1864, he was assigned command of the military District of Illinois, replacing Eleazar Paine, who had resigned the position. Cook was awarded the brevet rank of major general at the end of the war.

Postbellum career[]

Following the war, Cook returned home and was elected as Sangamon County's representative in the Illinois General Assembly.

He died in his home near Ransom, Michigan, in 1910, and is interred at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.

See also[]



  1. Eicher, p. 183.

External links[]