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 Posted: Sat Aug 27th, 2011 02:24 pm
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Texas Defender
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Mark-

  I don't believe that Samuel Cooper would have been a suitable choice to command the ANV, nor do I believe that he would have wished to. He was the ultimate :"Staff" type, greatly respected for his organizational abilities, not for leading troops in the field.

  Samuel Cooper was born in 1798. He was commissioned in 1815 at the age of 17. By the time that General Lee took over the ANV in 1862, Cooper was almost 64 years old. That is, in my view, too old to be packing and going off to the field. In fact, it is, I believe, the mandatory retirement age for U.S. Army generals today.

  General Cooper was an artillery officer by trade. He served in various artillery units until 1837, when he was appointed Chief Clerk of the War Department. The following year, he was made Assistant Adjutant General of the U.S. Army.

  The last time he was in the field, I believe, was in the Second Seminole War in 1842. Even then, it was a staff assignment. He was Chief of Staff for Colonel William Worth. By late 1842, he was back to Washington and staff duties.

  In 1852, Samuel Cooper was made Adjutant General of the U.S. Army. There he remained until 1861 (He did serve as Acting Secretary of War for a time in 1857). He resigned from the U.S. Army in March of 1861, and was made a brigadier general in the provisional Confederate Army the same month.

  General Cooper served the Confederacy as Adjutant General (and also as Inspector General), doing what he was famous for. He was very valuable to Jefferson Davis due to his organizational abilities. He was made the senior general in the Confederate Army, though it was understood that he would act as a conduit between Mr. Davis and his generals in the field.

  General Cooper was a genius in his own area of expertise, but his background was not of a general leading an army in the field. And by early 1865, he was almost 67 years old. I doubt that he would have wanted to take on the duties of an army commander at that time.

  Historians owe General Cooper a great debt for saving the CSA records and turning them over to the U.S. Government at the end of the war. They were incorporated into The Official Records. General Cooper became a farmer after the war. He was held in great respect and admiration by former Confederate officers for his wartime service.

 

Last edited on Sat Aug 27th, 2011 02:26 pm by Texas Defender

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