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B. F. Cook

B. F. Cook

Federal (USV)


Benjamin Franklin Cook

(1833 - 1915)

Home State: Massachusetts

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 12th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

From Gloucester, he had served ten years in the pre-War State Militia. He enlisted as Private in Company K, 12th Massachusetts Infantry on 19 April 1861 and was elected 2nd Lieutenant, then mustered as 1st Lieutenant of the Company on 26 June. He was promoted Captain of Company E on 2 May 1862.

On the Campaign

He commanded the brigade skirmish line and followed Major Burbank and Captain Allen in command of the Regiment at Antietam after those officers were seriously wounded in action.1

The rest of the War

He served as the Provost Marshal of the Division (2nd of the 5th Corps) from January - September 1863, having been promoted Major of the Regiment in July. He commanded the Twelfth on the Mine Run, Bristoe, Wilderness, and Cold Harbor Campaigns (Oct 1863-June 1864)1. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 6 May 1864, and mustered out of service with his Regiment on 8 July 1864.

After the War

He continued in Militia service for 3 years after the War, and was elected to the State Legislature in 1867-1868. He was appointed weigher and gauger in the Gloucester Customs House in 1869 and served in that post more than 14 years until 1884. He was elected to the State Senate 1886-88, and Mayor of Gloucester for three terms 1894-1898.

Active in veteran's groups, he later wrote (or edited from works of other members of the Regiment) a Regimental history2, from which his military service details are taken.

References & notes

His life dates and civilian details from the Biographical History3. The photo here is from one at the US Army Military History Institute, Carlisle, PA (ID: USAMHI RG641S-MOL-PA3.80)


01/01/1833; Boston, MA


09/03/1915; Gloucester, MA


1   US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, various citations  [AotW citation 295]

2   Cook, Benjamin F., and James Beale, History of the Twelfth Massachusetts Volunteers (Webster regiment), Boston: Twelfth (Webster) Regiment Association, 1882, pg. 150  [AotW citation 1156]

3   Eliot, Samuel Atkins, Biographical History of Massachusetts, 10 Volumes, Boston: Massachusetts Biographical Society, 1909-18, Vol. VIII, pp. 111-113  [AotW citation 1157]