The Cook brothers in the Civil War

All five Cook brothers served in the Confederate Army in Whitfield’s Texas Legion (also known as the 27th Texas Cavalry and the 1st Texas Legion).   Three of the brothers were locally famous for their heroism at the Battle of Iuka.  The following records of their service were obtained from the national archives.

Jesse Mercer Cook

The oldest brother was appointed Captain of Company J in the Legion on 10 March 1862, a post he held for the rest of the war.  He was wounded at Middleton, Tennessee on Christmas Eve 1862 and captured along with his brothers at Carter Creek Pike between Franklin and Spring Hill, Tennessee on 27 April 1863.  Unlike his brothers, however, he was sent to Fort Delaware before being exchanged.  He finished out the war and surrendered along with the rest of the Legion at Citronelle, Alabama in May 1865.

Andrew Barney Cook

He enlisted at Daingerfield, Texas on 1 January 1862 and transferred to his brother’s company on 8 May.  He was captured along with two of his brothers on Carter Creek Pike on 27 April 1863, sent to Nashville and then to the military prison at Louisville, Kentucky.   He and his brothers were among 429 prisoners sent to Baltimore to be exchanged on 14 May.  He was captured again on 19 June 1864 at Peachtree Creek, Georgia and sent to Camp Morton, Indiana where he was paroled as part of a prisoner exchange on 19 February 1865.

According to Reuben Cook’s contribution to the History of Titus County, his father Andrew Barney Cook “… At Oakland, Mississippi he received a spent rifle ball in his shoulder, but afterwards engaged in several battles, such as Franklin, Tennessee and Pilot Point, Georgia, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Vicksburg, etc., and was twice captured and held prisoner at Franklin, Tennessee and Pilot Point, Georgia 8 ½ months.  One or two of his brothers were flag bearers and as their mounts were shot down, he grabbed the flag and carried it to victory.

Robert Ivey Cook

Both Ivey and Doctor enlisted at Grayson, Texas on 1 October 1861 in the 11th Texas Cavalry but transferred to their brother’s company in the 27th Texas Cavalry on 30 April 1862.   He was wounded and taken prisoner at Iuka on 19 September 1862.  After being exchanged he was captured along with his brother Andrew at Carter Creek Pike and, like his brother, held until 10 May before being paroled.

Doctor A. Cook

He enlisted along with his brother Ivey Cook on 1 October 1861 in the 11th Texas Cavalry then transferred to his brother’s company in the 27th Texas Cavalry at the same time on 30 April 1862.  He was a Sergeant when he was captured along with two of his brothers at Carter Creek Pike.

Samuel Asa Cook

He enlisted at Daingerfield on 10 March 1862 to serve under his brother Jesse.   On June 10 he transferred to the Legion’s staff as a quartermaster Sergeant.    He was hospitalized at Iuka and captured along with his brother Ivey.  He was returned to the Legion in a prisoner exchange and finished out the war.

 The Battle of Iuka

An 1881 history of Ross’ Texas Brigade presents this recollection of the Cook brother’s heroism:1

On September 19, 1862, the [Whitfield’s Texas] Legion participated in the Battle of Iuka. It occupied the position on the right of the brigade. When the skirmishers were driven back, Colonel Whitfield ordered a charge. The Third Texas, which had been thrown forward as skirmishers seeing us advance, fell into ranks with us, and thus formed – as one regiment – we captured the Ninth Ohio battery, driving the enemy before us. The Forty-second Iowa attempted to make a right-wheel, so as to enfilade the line, but three companies, and about seventy men of the Third Texas, charged, and drove it in confusion from the field. In this engagement, the three Cook brothers, of the Legion, greatly distinguished themselves for cool intrepidity and loyal devotion to the flag of the Confederacy.

Ensign Ivey Cook was shot down, severely wounded, when his brother, Samuel, seized the regimental colors, and waved them with a cheer of triumph. But he advanced but a few steps, when he, too, was shot down; when a third brother, young Andrew Cook, grasped the staff from his relaxing hold, exclaiming: ‘The flag shall wave, though the entire Cook family is exterminated in the attempt!’ Colonel Whitfield was severely wounded. The loss of the regiment was 107 killed and wounded. On October 5, 1862, the Legion participated in the engagement at Hatchie Bridge, while the battle of Corinth was in progress. We were first formed on the north bank of the river; were then moved to the south bank, and formed in line, with the river in our rear. We were attacked by an overwhelming force and driven back. Our loss was very great in prisoners, as the bridge was torn in pieces by the enemy’s shell, and the means of passing the stream was difficult and dangerous. Our loss, during the engagement, was ninety- seven in killed, wounded, and prisoners.


This statement was repeated twenty years later in a 1901 book.  2

Andrew Barney Cook’s obituary, quoted elsewhere, says  that he:

…enlisted in the confederate army in 1862 and served until the surrender.  He was in Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.  At Oakland, Miss. He was severely wounded, but afterwards engaged in many severe battles such as Franklin, Holly Springs, Iuka, Lumpkins Mills, Murfersboro, Nashville, Vicksburg, and many others.  In the death dealing contest at Iuka, two brothers older than himself of Whitesfields Legion color bearers, each falling successively, a third, the subject of this sketch, grasped the bloodstained banner from the prostrate forms of his wounded brothers and bore it aloft to a glorious victory.  At our state capitol says The Southern Home Magazine, that group of heroes should be memorialized in bronze or granite, a parallel of which defies the world.  He was twice captured, first at Franklin where he was severely wounded and kept in prison 18 days, and again at Pilot Point and held a prisoner eight months at Indianapolis…


  1. Victor M. Rose, Ross’ Texas Brigade : being a narrative of events connected with its service in the late war between the states (1881), pages 95-96. []
  2. A. W. Sparks, Recollections of the Great War,  (Lee & Burnett, Printers 1901 []