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Federal (USV)


George Tottingham Cook

(1841 - 1891)

Home State: New York

Education: Howard University Medical College;Class Rank: 1885

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 21st New York Infantry

Before Antietam

In 1860 he was an 18 year old book store clerk, son of Presbyterian minister Philos G Cook, living with his parents and siblings in Buffalo, NY. He enlisted there on 1 May 1861 to serve two years, and mustered in on 20 May as a Corporal in Company B, 21st New York Infantry. He was promoted to Sergeant on 7 August and First Sergeant on 19 May 1862.

On the Campaign

He was seriously wounded in his right side in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was admitted to the US Army hospital in the German Reformed Church in Frederick, MD on 1 October and furloughed home on 8 October 1862. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on 7 November 1862 (to date from 30 August 1862) and mustered out with his Company on 18 May 1863 in Buffalo.

He enrolled for service again and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 24th Regiment, Veteran Reserve Corps on 3 November 1863, promoted to First Lieutenant on 3 December 1864 and appointed Regimental Quartermaster, and again mustered out, on 15 April 1867.

After the War

He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th United States Infantry on 7 March 1867, but was unassigned on 22 April 1869 and discharged at his own request on 31 December 1870.

In 1875 he was again a clerk living with his parents in Buffalo, but went to Washington, DC in 1881 and worked for the US Government. He attended the medical school at Howard University in the evenings from 1882 to 1885 and graduated with an M.D, and was afterward a physician in the medical division of the Pension Office in Washington to his death at age 50 in 1891.

References & notes

His service from the Adjutant General1, his New York Muster Roll Extract, online from fold3, and Heitman.2 Antietam wound and hospital details from the Chronicles 3 and the Patient List.4 Personal details from family genealogists including Clayton Wood Holmes in Genealogy of the Lineal Descendants of William Wood (1901), the US Census of 1860, the New York State Census of 1875, and Howard University Medical Department (1900). His gravesite is on Findagrave; his marker has his middle name as Tottenham (his mother was Clarissa Columbia Tottingham).

He married Dr. Katherine (or Katharine) Frances "Kate" Beatty (Howard Medical M.D. '84, 1860-1928) in May 1884 in Washington, DC and they had a daughter Ethel (1888-1980).

All three Cooks are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Kate's headstone is next to George's and Ethel's name is on the back of George's stone; she listed there as his wife, in error.


09/04/1841; Buffalo, NY


02/05/1891; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VAA


1   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, For the Year 1899, Ser. No. 20, pg. 200  [AotW citation 28164]

2   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 323  [AotW citation 28217]

3   Mills, John Harrison, and 21st Regiment Veteran Association of Buffalo, Chronicles of the Twenty-first Regiment New York State Volunteers, Buffalo: 21st Reg't. Veteran Association of Buffalo, 1887, pg. 294  [AotW citation 28165]

4   National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Terry Reimer, Frederick Patient List, Published 2018, first accessed 17 September 2018, <>, Source page: patient #56  [AotW citation 28218]