LIEUTENANT-COLONEL JOHN E. COOK

Was born in Hadley, Mass., August twenty-fifth, 1829. His parents still reside there. At the age of fifteen, Colonel Cook commenced an apprenticeship at the carpenter's trade, which vocation he has since pursued. In 1848 he removed to Middleburg, Otsego Co., N. Y., where he now resides,

By a drill of seven years in the State Militia, he had acquired a taste for military life, and when the rebel lion broke out, he was an early recruit. Organizing a company in the "Otsego Regiment," he with it joined the Seventy-sixth, and was made Captain of Company I. On arriving at Fredericksburg in the summer of 1862, he was, in June, made Provost Marshal of that city.

He took part in all the battles during Pope's retreat. He was commissioned Major, June twenty-fifth, 1863, and after the death of Major Grover at Gettysburg, assumed command of the Regiment. He was honorably mentioned by the Brigade Commander, for bravery in that battle. He was slightly wounded at Gettysburg, but did not leave the field.

He was afterwards commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel, with rank from the third of July, 1863. At the battle of the Wilderness, May 5th, 1864, he received a gunshot wound in the right arm, and was thus compelled to leave the Regiment, joining it, however, about a month afterward near Petersburg, Va.

On the seventh of October, 1864, Colonel Cook was again wounded by a piece of shell, depriving him of his command about one week. With these two exceptions, he was in command of the Regiment from July first, 1863, to the end of his term of enlistment, October seventh, 1864, when he was mustered out of service. Since leaving the service, he has been engaged in business South, and chiefly in the State of Texas.

 - From the Regimental History of the 76th New York, A. P. Smith, 1867


Official Reports, Vol. 43, pp285-286
Capt. Cook's Report on the Battle of Gettysburg

CAMP NEAR BOONSBOROUGH, MD.,
July 11, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on July 1, at about 10.30 a.m., being the extreme advance regiment of the First Corps, we reached the battle-field near the seminary at Gettysburg, and while marching by the flank were opened upon by the enemy, stationed in large force at a distance of about 30 rods, where they were lying down concealed from view in a wheat-field. We were exposed to their fire several minutes before replying. The men were cautioned to hold their fire until the enemy appeared, when orders were given to commence firing. At this juncture, a large force of the enemy deployed upon our right flank, subjecting us to a galling cross-fire. Major Grover then ordered the right wing to change front to the rear to oppose the new force. Simultaneously with this he fell, mortally wounded, and the brigade commander ordered the regiment to fall back. This was done in good order and the line reformed on the railroad track near the seminary. We again advanced and took our old ground, which we held for some time; then fell back to the woods  <ar43_286> on the brow of the hill; thence advanced right-oblique a short distance, obtained a good position, and silenced the fire of the enemy, who lay behind a fence in the hollow. Here we shot down their colors (having done so twice in the first engagement), and a portion of our regiment charged with the Ninety-fourth New York, and took a large body of the enemy and a stand of colors. Being out of ammunition, the Ninety-fourth New York relieved us, and we were not again under infantry fire until we passed through Gettysburg.  Here we lost 8 or 10 men by falling bricks and infantry fire in the streets; since which time the history of the regiment is that of the brigade. After this we had a few men slightly wounded on the hill in the rear of the town. The whole regiment behaved admirably, with one or two exceptions. Each man came up to the mark without flinching, and remained there, taking careful aim and displaying great coolness.

I desire to mention particularly the following officers for distinguished bravery and coolness on the field: Capts. J. L. Goddard, Company F; H. W. Pierce, Company A; and S. M. Byram, Company D; First Lieuts. C. A. Watkins, Company G; J. C. Hatch, Company C; and N. G. Bartholomew, Company K; First Sergts. Ira C. Potter, Company A; Silas Smith, Company I; and Homer D. Call; and Sergts. George W. Steele, Company G; and B. I. D. Fox, Company H.

The casualties were as follows: Killed, 32; wounded, 132; missing, 70. Total, 234.

I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,

 JOHN E. COOK,

 Captain, Comdg. Seventy-sixth New York Volunteers.  


O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXVII/1 [S# 43] -- Gettysburg Campaign

No.  29. -- Reports of Maj. Gen. Abner Doubleday, U. S. Army,
commanding Third Division of, and First Army Corps.

General Cutler, commanding the Second Brigade, First Division, whose coolness and self-possession were remarkable, and who had two horses shot under him, says:

Colonel Hofmann, Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers; Major Harney, One hundred and forty-seventh New York Volunteers; Major Pye, Ninety-fifth New York Volunteers, and Captain Cook, Seventy-sixth New York Volunteers, deserve special mention for gallantry and coolness. ...  Major Grover, commanding the Seventy-sixth New York Volunteers, a brave and efficient officer, was killed early in the action of the 1st instant, and the command devolved upon Capt. John E. Cook, and most ably and faithfully did he perform his duty.

Official Reports, Vol. 48, pp. 690-691

HDQRS. SEVENTY-SIXTH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
December 5, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that this regiment broke its camp near Rappahannock Station at daylight on the 26th of November, <ar48_691> and marched with the Second Brigade to Richardsville, and bivouacked for the night between that place and Culpeper Ford, on the Rapidan. Early the next morning it crossed the river, and marched southward to the plank road leading from Wilderness to Germanna Ford, where the column headed toward Fredericksburg. Passing Wilderness, a more southerly direction was again taken until the plank road to Orange Court-House was reached, when the march was directed to the latter place. After a halt the head of the column moved northward again, and then in an easterly direction, finally striking the Fredericksburg and Orange turnpike, about 2 miles east of Locust Grove, where it bivouacked for the night. On the following morning it moved forward to Locust Grove, and took a position in the line in the woods south of the pike. Soon after daylight the brigade was formed in order of battle in two lines, the Seventy-sixth New York Volunteers (on the left), Fourteenth New York State Militia (in the center), and the Ninety-fifth New York Volunteers (on the right), under the command of Col. E. B. Fowler, of the Fourteenth New York State Militia, forming the second line, and a general advance was made.

The enemy, having fallen back, was followed to Mine Run, where he made a stand, and a halt was ordered. It was now raining, and the regiment was soon posted in the woods at some distance to the left of the pike and a few rods behind the artillery. Here it remained during the 29th and 30th of November, and until late in the afternoon of December 1.

On the 28th of November, 1 officer and 45 men were sent out as pickets, and 45 more on the 29th. On the 1st of December, 3 officers and 135 men were sent out on picket, and about 4 in the afternoon the regiment started for Germanna Ford, and bivouacked at a late hour near that place.

Early the next morning, December 2, it recrossed the Rapidan and marched to Stevensburg, near which place it bivouacked for the night, and the next day marched to [Paoli] Mills, on Mountain Creek, where it went into camp. On the 4th, it moved to near Kelly's Ford, and there went into camp.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

 JOHN E. COOK,

Lieut. Col., Comdg. Seventy-sixth N. Y. Volunteers.


Official Reports, Vol. 67 pp.630-631

HDQRS. SEVENTY-SIXTH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
Near Petersburg, Va., August 9, 1864.

CAPTAIN: In accordance with Special Orders, No. 209, of August 5, 1864, from headquarters Army of the Potomac, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the several operations of the campaign, from the crossing of the Rapidan to the assault on the enemy's position in front of Petersburg, July 30, 1864:

FIRST EPOCH.

The regiment left winter quarters near Culpeper Court-House on the night of May 3, and marched via Germanna Ford on the Rapidan to near the Wilderness Tavern, where we arrived at 4 p.m. of May 4, and bivouacked. On the morning of May 5 marched 2 miles and engaged the enemy (it was here that Companies B, F, and K were captured), and from this time to the night of May 13 were engaged in all the battles of the Wilderness.

SECOND EPOCH.

On the night of May 13 marched to near Spotsylvania CourtHouse and intrenched. While here there was continuous firing on the skirmish line, but no distinct engagement.

THIRD EPOCH.

Left Spotsylvania on May 21 and marched to near Guiney's Station and bivouacked. May 22 marched to Saint Margaret's Church and bivouacked. Started on the morning of May 23 and marched to and across the North Anna River at Jericho Ford. Soon after our crossing the enemy attacked and were repulsed. We then put up breast-works and bivouacked. On the morning of May 25 marched about 3 miles down river; halted and intrenched. On the night of May 26 recrossed the North Anna, and marched to Mangohick. <ar67_631>

FOURTH EPOCH.

On the morning of May 28 marched to and across the Pamunkey River, formed line of battle, put up works, and bivouacked. May 29, marched 3 miles toward Mechanicsville; halted and bivouacked. May 30, marched to near Bethesda Church, occupied works, and bivouacked. On the morning of May 31 went out as skirmishers and staid till dark, when was relieved and went back to breast-works, and bivouacked. On the morning of June I advanced one-half mile, put up breast-works, and staid till evening, then moved 1 mile to the right, staid till midnight, when moved 1 miles to the left, put up works, and camped in line. June 3, were moved to left and held in reserve. On the morning of June 4 moved into front line of works, and staid there until night of June 5, when marched to Gaines' Hill and bivouacked. June 7, marched to near Bottom's Bridge, went out as skirmishers, and were relieved on June 8, when went to rear and bivouacked, and staid till night of June 12.(*)

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

 JOHN E. COOK,

 Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.


Official Reports, Vol. 87

HDQRS. SEVENTY-SIXTH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
Near Petersburg, Va., August 9, 1864.

 CAPTAIN :(*)

FIFTH EPOCH.

On the night of June 12 marched to and across the Chickahominy River at Long Bridge and staid till evening of June 13, when marched to Wilcox's Wharf, on James River. On June 16 crossed James River on transports and marched to near Prince George Court-House. On June 17 moved to the front and intrenched. On morning of June 18 advanced one mile and a half, halted, and commenced to intrench. Were ordered forward, and charged the enemy's works. Were repulsed, but held a position in advance of that from which we started to charge. At night put up breast-works and held them up to July 30, 1864.

This regiment did not participate in the assault on the enemy's position on the morning of July 30, 1864.

Hoping this report may prove satisfactory, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

 JOHN E. COOK,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Comdg. Seventy-sixth New York Volunteers.


HDQRS. SEVENTY-SIXTH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
August 28, 1864.

 CAPTAIN: In accordance with circular of last evening, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the operations of the corps since the 17th instant:

At 4 a.m. of the 18th instant the regiment broke camp and marched with the rest of the brigade to the Yellow House, on the Weldon railroad, arriving there at 12 m., stacked arms in line, rested for an hour, and then marched about three-fourths of a mile up the railroad toward Petersburg, and formed line of battle on the right of the railroad. About an hour later moved rapidly to the left of the railroad, and formed line. The regiment was soon after sent out as skirmishers to cover the brigade front. About dark received orders to advance the line, and if possible reach a cleared field about thirty rods in front. Moved forward under a heavy fire, gained half the distance, but found it impossible to advance farther, and held our position until morning. In advancing the line First Lieut. Barnard Phenis, of Company D, was killed, and Private Frederick Thomas, of Company D, was wounded in the hand. On the morning of the 19th were relieved on the skirmish line by the Fourth Delaware Regiment, and returned to a line of slight works, put up by the brigade during the night. Strengthened the works and remained in them. Were attacked by the enemy in the afternoon, and repulsed him, with no loss to ourselves. Retained our position during the night. Private Jay Bronson, of Company H, stretcher-bearer, was wounded in the arm, while going to the skirmish line after a wounded man, in the evening. About midnight Second Lieut. Moses M. Whitney, of Company C, was wounded in the hip by a stray shot from the skirmish line. Held our position until the night of the 20th instant, when moved to our present position and put up breast-works. Were attacked by the enemy on the morning of the 21st; repulsed him, with heavy loss, and captured about seventy-five prisoners. Capt. J. C. Hatch, of Company G, jumped over the works as <ar87_487> the enemy retired and brought in the colors of the Twenty-fifth South Carolina (rebel) Regiment. During the action Sergt. Laverne E. Teeter, of Company C, was wounded slightly in the shoulder; Sergt. Parmenas A. Norton, of Company D, had his left arm shattered; Private William M. Bristol, of Company D, received a flesh wound in the shoulder, and Private William H. Hungerford, of Company I, received a flesh wound in the hip. As the enemy retired skirmishers were sent forward, and soon after the line was ordered to be doubled, when First Lieut. Thomas F. Weldon, of Company C, was sent out to take charge of the men from this regiment. Soon after, while on the line, he was shot by a sharpshooter and instantly killed. His death is a severe loss to the regiment, as he was one of the most courageous and efficient officers in the command. We still retain the position occupied by us on the 21st instant, and since that time the regiment has not been engaged.

Hoping this report may prove satisfactory, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

 JOHN E. COOK,

Lieut. Col., Comdg. Seventy-sixth New York Volunteers.


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