Wednesday, April 30, 2008

George M. Cook

George M. Cook was born around 1839 in Lorain County, Ohio.

George left Ohio and settled in Michigan where by 1860 he was a farm laborer working for and/or living with Watson Cronkite in Watertown, Clinton County. (Living nearby in Watertown was Ephraim Cook, born around 1823 in New York, and his wife Clarissa and family. They had probably moved to Michigan from Ohio, where they resided for some years, sometime after 1858. Also living with Ephraim and his family was probably his mother Polly, born around 1803 in New York. Living just one farm away form George was the Butterfield family; originally from New York they had settled in Michigan sometime after 1843, and their daughter Adelaide would marry George in 1868.)

George stood 6’2” with blue eyes, black hair and a dark complexion, and was 23 years old and still residing in Clinton County when he enlisted as Fifth Sergeant in Company G on May 10, 1861. According to Corporal Joseph Stevens of Company G, George was the “comic singer” of the company, and he also reported that George was apparently sick, presumably in his quarters, in late May of 1861, while the Regiment was forming in Grand Rapids. “It is a wonder there are no more,” noted Stevens, “when we consider the cold and rainy weather for the past week.” In any case George remained sick through May and on into early June.

Frank Siverd, also of Company G, wrote home to the Lansing Republican in early June that George was sick with the measles. He was however, “well cared for." Siverd quickly pointed out that Regimental Surgeon D. W. "Bliss leaves nothing undone that will contribute to the comfort of the sick. To prevent the disease spreading, as soon as the first symptoms appear,” Bliss had Cook, along with several others “removed to the house of a physician, some three miles from camp.”

George eventually recovered from his bout with “measles” and left Michigan with the regiment on June 13, 1861. But it appears that he never fully recovered from his first bout with measles, and was absent sick in the hospital from October of 1862 through December. In fact, according to First Lieutenant Joseph Mason, commanding Company G in February of 1863, “since the time he joined the Regiment he has been subject to sudden attacks of palpitation of the heart & when he had to make the slightest exertion fainting fits ensued.”

George was discharged on February 10, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia, by Regimental surgeon James Grove for “chronic valvular disease of the heart, the result in my opinion of acute rheumatism of which he states he had one or two attacks before entering the service.” On March 27, 1863, Homer Thayer of Company G wrote that Sergeant Cook along with several others had recently been discharged.

After his discharge in the spring of 1863 George returned to Michigan where he reentered the service as Sergeant in Company F, Twenty-eighth Michigan infantry on August 23, 1864, at Lansing for 3 years, crediting Lansing's Second Ward, and was mustered on August 25 at Marshall, Calhoun County where the regiment was being organized. The regiment left Michigan for Louisville, Kentucky October 26-29 and remained on duty there until November 10. It participated in the battle of Nashville and subsequently occupied Nashville.

In November George was reported as a mounted scout, and in January of 1865 he was absent sick through February, and in March was in a hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana, since February 8. In fact the Twenty-eighth had moved back to Louisville in mid-January and on January 18 was moved to Alexandria, Louisiana where it remained until February 19. The regiment was eventually transferred to New Berne, North Carolina in late February of 1865. It participated in the campaign in the Carolinas from March 1-April 26, the advance on and occupation of Raleigh, North Carolina in mid-April, the surrender of Johnston’s army and subsequently on duty at Raleigh until August. George was mustered out of service on June 5, 1865 at Raleigh, North Carolina.

After the war George eventually returned to Michigan, possibly to Clinton County.

He was probably living in Clinton County when he married Michigan native Adelaide M. Butterfield (b. 1845) on March 29, 1868, in Clinton County. They had at least one child: a daughter Glen Cora (b. 1869).

By 1870 George was working as a farmer and living with his wife and daughter, and probably Adelaide’s younger sister Ida (b. 1858) in Watertown, Clinton County; next door lived Ephraim Cook and his family as well as Polly Cook, and next door to Ephraim lived Mrs. Cronkite, a widow.

George was working as a laborer when he probably died of an "abscess" in Kalamazoo County, on January 13, 1878, and his body was returned to Clinton County, where he was buried in Dewitt cemetery in Clinton County: section C lot 106 (on the same lot with Julius and Jennie Jardot).

No pension seems to be available.

By 1880 Adelaide was working as a milliner and dress-maker and living as head of the household in Watertown; living with her was her daughter and sister Ida who was also working as a dress-maker.

1 comment:

... said...

This looks like this might be your George M. COOK's letters in the Michigan State Archives - you've probably already got these but just in case...


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