(1834 - 1927)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Command Billet: Soldier
Branch of Service: Engineer
By then a 25 year-old skilled machinist and engineer - and soon to be married - Cope enlisted against the wishes of his father and his Quaker faith in the Brandywine Guards, which mustered into service as Company A, 1st Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps (30th Regiment of PA Volunteers) on 9 June 1861. He was promoted to Sergeant on the 10th. He transferred to Company C, 5th U. S. Artillery as Corporal, in April 1862, returning to his Volunteer company in June.
On the Campaign
He was with the Regiment at South Mountain and Antietam.
The rest of the War
In January 1863 he was detailed to the Topographical Engineers at Headquarters, Army of the Potomac (AOP). He was promoted to Captain of Volunteers, 20 April 1864, and served as Aide-de-camp on the staff of Major General G. K. Warren, and was later Chief of Engineers of the Warrren's Fifth Army Corps. He was at most of the engagements of the AoP in the War, and developed surveys and maps of many of them.
He was again promoted, to Major, on 9 February 1865. He was honored by brevet (Lt. Colonel) in April 1865 and mustered out of the service in June.
After the War
After the battle of Gettysburg he had surveyed and mapped the battlefield. The "Cope" Map he produced of that field is the standard reference today. In the 1890s he assisted the Antietam Battlefield Board and Ezra Carman in particular in the production of the definitive series of maps depicting the ground and troop movements at the Battle of Antietam. These are now commonly known as the "Carman-Cope" maps [online via Library of Congress]. In 1922 he was appointed superintendent of the Gettysburg National Military Park, and died while still actively serving in that post.
References & notes
Military services information from Bates1 and Heitman2. Pre-war and other details from the research of Thomas L. Schaefer in his Gettysburg Seminar paper If You Seek His Monument, Look Around [online from the NPS]. Some details from his gravesite online via Findagrave. The photograph here from one posted on the Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps Historical Database (offline as of Feb 2012).
07/23/1834; Copesville, Chester County, PA
05/28/1927 Gettysburg, PA; burial in Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871 [AotW citation 1130]
2 Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, pg. 326 [AotW citation 1131]