Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Historic Elmwood Cemetery & Foundation

Where Detroit's History Endures
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Philip St. George Cooke

Brevet Major General

Born in Leesburg, Virginia on June 13, 1809, Cooke was appointed to West Point at the age of 14 and graduated in 1827 at the age of 18. Philip married Rachael Wilt in Missouri and they had four children. His daughter, Flora, married Confederate General, Jeb Stuart, and his daughter, Julia, married Union General Jacob Sharpe. John Rogers Cooke, his son, was a Confederate General.

Cooke was commissioned into the infantry and later transferred to the dragoons. He received several assignments, one of which was as Lt. Colonel in command of the Mormon Battalion formed in July of 1846 to participate in the Mexican War. The troop left Council Bluffs, Iowa and marched westward to the Pacific Ocean. The march over land covered 2,000 miles and was the longest military march ever recorded. During the march, they raised the American Flag at Tucson, Arizona in December of 1846. The battalion reached the Old San Diego Mission in January of 1847. This march created the first wagon road from Santa Fe to the Pacific.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Cooke was stationed in Utah. He was commissioned Brigadier General on November 13, 1861 and was in command of a brigade of cavalry in Washington, D. C. He participated in the battles at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Gaines’s Mill and Glendale. In August of 1863, he took command of the troops in the Baton Rouge District. He was breveted the rank of Major General at the end of the war. Cooke was transferred to Detroit in 1870 and retired from the Army in 1873. He remained in Detroit until his death on March 20, 1895.

Born: June 13, 1809
Died: March 20, 1895
Buried: Section H, Lot 94