Saturday, January 25, 2014

52 Ancestors: #3 - John Levi Cook - Mass Regiment, Drummer (2nd great grandfather of husband)

John Levi Cook 2nd great grandfather of husband

son of John Cook (b 1805) and Cynthia Metcalf
    B - abt 1841 in Ashburnham, MA
    D - 28 Nov 1910 in Bath, Maine
   Wife: Christiana L Petts (2nd great grandmother of husband)
     B 1845 in Stoddard, NH
     D 30 Sep 1871 in Keene, NH * she had given birth in late June in Keene NH of this year*
   Son: Don Ferdinand Cook (great grandfather of husband) 
     B 24 Jun 1871 Keene, NH 
     D 16 Dec 1939 in Keene, NH

John Levi Cook's Story
Civil War duty
John L. Cook of the Union Army was assigned to the 21 Massachusetts Infantry (21st Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry), Company G. 
His rank when he came in: Musician and his rank when he mustered out: Principal Musician (he was a drummer)
A family source (Bob Cook said in 1990s: "His drum is still owned by the family.”)


John L Cook was involved in guard duty to protect railroads in Maryland, quite possibly in Baltimore secured by Union troops as it had a large number of Confederate sympathizers. The General who led this was from Massachusetts as was his regiment.
North Carolina/VA border  

He was then in North Carolina under General Burnside – likely in the opening phase of what came to be called the Burnside Expedition at the Battle of Roanoke Island, an amphibious operation of the American Civil War, on February 7–8, 1862.  
This was fought in the North Carolina Sounds only a short distance south of the Virginia border.
After this, John L Cook was with General Pope's fought at Sulphur Springs at what is called “The First Battle of Rappahannock Station” in August 1862, in Culpeper County and Fauquier County, Virginia. 
The two armies fought a series of minor actions along the Rappahannock River, including Waterloo Bridge, Lee Springs, Freeman's Ford, and Sulphur Springs.

He then went back a bit further north and west to:
1- The Second Battle of Bull Run or Second Manassas, Virginia, August 28–30, 1862,
2 - then on, over the border, to the Battle of South Mountain, MD, September 14, 1862
3 -  and over to the Battle of Antietam in Maryland-a very bloody battle on September 17, 1862.

Then they turned south again: 
Fredericksburg -Wounding, Capture & Mustering Out
In late November 1862, his army went to the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericksburg, VA. The Confederate army   established a strong defensive position across the river in the town. After waiting for 6 for the the arrival of pontoon bridges, the Union general finally began to look for places to cross the river to attack. Not until December 11 did the Union cross the Rappahannock to attack the Fredericksburg.  December 13, 1862 - Lee defeated the Union army at the Battle of Fredericksburg. The Union retreated back across the Rappahannock River under cover of night. 

But, John Levi Cook was shot in the knee at Fredericksburg and captured – likely in December 13, 1862 during the battle.
City of Fredericksburg from Union side

John L Cook is freed on the field. Probably not a dramatic escape but a parole.  The armies usually didn't have the time or the resources to handle prisoners; they were “paroled.” Parole was a sort of solemn promise to not return to your Army until you were exchanged for another prisoner. 
However, in practice it meant most men took their papers and went home permanently. 
Pontoon Bridge across Rappahannock
John Levi Cook mustered out of service in 1863, but since it was December 1862 when he was captured then loosed, he probably formally mustered out once he made his way out of Fredericksburg. 

North, Marriage and Maine!

At some point he made his way back north. Born on the Mass/NH border, he may have been in Keene NH when he met Christiana Petts, as it was a large city of the time. She came from north of Keene, and he from the Mass, but it is speculation. They wed and she had a child, but died only a few months after childbirth in New Hamsphire. Later he remarried Abbie Everline Clifford. Why he went to Maine, we don't know. However, he worked in a store in Winnegance, Maine like this one pictured (owned by the Perrys in Winnegance, Maine). Later in life he was the postmaster in Phippsburg, Maine.

1 Family information: Ruth Antilla Johnson (1st hand knowledge) and Bob Cook
3 National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, 1861-1865, M544 roll 9 and Fold 3 --military service informtion
4 Photos: Public Domain, historical photos
5 Store: Family sources, Ruth Antilla Johnson & Bob Cook

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