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Joseph Alexander Cooper
November 25, 1823(1823-11-25) – May 20, 1910 (aged 86)
Joseph Alexander Cooper
Place of birth Cumberland Falls, Kentucky
Place of death Stafford, Kansas
Resting place Knoxville National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Infantry
Years of service 1861–66
Rank Brevet Major General
Battles/wars Mexican–American War
American Civil War

Joseph Alexander Cooper (November 25, 1823 – May 20, 1910) was an American farmer, soldier, and civil servant. He briefly served in the United States Army during the Mexican–American War, and later he was a Union Army general during the American Civil War, fighting most notably during the 1864 Battle of Nashville.


Early life

Cooper was born in 1823 on a farm near Cumberland Falls, Kentucky. He and his parents moved to Campbell County, Tennessee the following year. He grew up in Campbell County, and married Mary J. Hutson in April 1846.[1] In 1847 Cooper served in the U.S. Army during the Mexican–American War, enlisting as a private in the 4th Tennessee Infantry in August and mustering out that October.[2]

After the war ended he returned to Campbell County, and was involved in farming near Jacksboro, Tennessee.[3]

Civil War service

When the American Civil War began in 1861, Cooper chose to follow the Union cause. He was elected a delegate to the 1861 Union convention at Knoxville. He next spent a few months recruiting men from his county. Then in April Cooper was sworn into service to the Union as a captain in the 1st Tennessee Infantry at Whitesburg, Kentucky.[4]

Cooper was promoted to the rank of colonel on August 8, 1861.[2] After fighting at Wild Cat Mountain and Mill Springs under Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas, he was given command of the 6th Tennessee Infantry on May 18, 1862. He would lead the 6th Tennessee throughout the year and into the summer of 1863.[5] Cooper fought in the battles of Stones River and Chickamauga, and the Chattanooga Campaign. After joining the army of Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman in the Atlanta Campaign, he was promoted to brigadier general on July 30, 1864. He commanded a brigade of the 2nd Division of the XXIII Corps from June 4 until he temporarily obtained divisional command following the Battle of Jonesborough. He was again in command of his brigade, and intermittently commanded the 2nd Division during the Franklin-Nashville Campaign. He also commanded the brigade during the Battle of Bentonville. He was appointed a brevet major general in the Union Army for his service throughout the war,in partivcular for his actions at Nashville.[6] Cooper was mustered out on January 15, 1866.[2]


In 1868 Cooper ran for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee, but his bid was unsuccessful. Next year, he was rewarded by U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant with the sinecure of collector of internal revenue for the Knoxville District.[6] Cooper held this position from 1869 to 1879.[2]

He later was enlisted by William Gannaway Brownlow, Governor of Tennessee, to quell the forces of the Ku Klux Klan disturbance in the state.[1] In 1880 he moved to Stafford County, Kansas, where he became involved in farming.[6] On April 3, 1891, Cooper was wounded in the city of Larned in Pawnee County when he was struck by a railroad car while.[2] He died in Stafford, Kansas in May 1910, and was buried in Knoxville National Cemetery.[6]


Cooper was a Baptist. He was a deacon of the Baptist Church for more than thirty-five years. He was also a long time moderator of the South Central Baptist Association of Kansas.[6]

See also


  2. ^ a b c d e Eicher, p. 184.
  3. ^ Warner (1964), p. 91.
  4. ^ Eicher, p. 184; Warner, p. 91.
  5. ^ Warner, pp. 91-2; Eicher, p. 184.
  6. ^ a b c d e Warner (1964), p. 92.


External links



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