Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 18.djvu/326
Southern Historical Society Papers.
swamp-oaks and other small trees in their front, thus forming a sort of abattis, which was very trying to the attacking column. The men picked their way coolly through these obstructions as best they could, and reformed their ranks at the embankment, which was too high to shoot over, though some of the men threw stones and clods over while waiting for the whole column to close up. When all was ready the two brigades, at the word of command, ran up on the embankment and leaped upon the enemy's works and utterly routed them, capturing many prisoners and ten pieces of artillery. Cooke and McRae were both excellent disciplinarians, and this cool and superb achievement of their brigades was the fruit of disciplined courage. Of course there were other troops engaged in this battle who did excellent work. In fact, the co-operation of the infantry, cavalry,and artillery engaged was very fine. But all who were there will recognize the justice of this tribute to our dead comrade and the gallant men whom he led."
When the war closed General Cooke was acting division commander for the second time during the struggle, and in this position he exhibited equal capacity for maneuvering larger commands, whilst his uniform coolness and courage inspired implicit confidence in him.
No danger or disparity of numbers appalled him. He dared to lead anywhere, and his dauntless courage was such that men dared follow him without hesitation and unquestioningly.
Major-General Harry Heth bears the following testimony to the efficiency of General Cooke as a disciplinarian:
"He said he thought that at no time had the United States Army ever been in better condition and discipline than the command of General Albert Sydney Johnston in Utah, in 1858, and that no portion of that command was in better drill, discipline and general efficiency than the brigade of General Cooke just previous to the end of the war."
Personally, General Cooke was gentle, genial, and sympathetic, and as a companion charming. His domestic relations was most happy. He was a tender father and husband.He married, January 5, 1864, Nannie Gordon, daughter of Dr. William Fairlie Patton, Surgeon United States and Confederate States navies, and granddaughter of Robert Patton, of Fredericksburg, Va., and his wife, Ann Gordon, daughter of General Hugh Mercer,