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Union or Secession
  • "Every thing here in the greatest confusion"
  • "Every thing here in the greatest confusion"
On June 15, 1861, Lieutenant John Rogers Cooke, after resigning from the United States Army and accepting a commission in the Confederate army, described conditions at the army camp in Fredericksburg.
Related Biographies:
  • John Rogers Cooke (1822–1891). Photograph in Special Collections, Library of Virginia.
    John Rogers Cooke
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"Every thing here in the greatest confusion"

John Rogers Cooke, to Flora Cooke Stuart, June 15, 1861, photostatic copy, Cooke Family Papers, 1855–1871, Acc. 23896, Library of Virginia.

John Rogers Cooke, after resigning from the United States Army and accepting a commission in the Confederate army, described for his sister the conditions at the army camp in Fredericksburg in mid-June 1861. He requested that his sister, the wife of James Ewell Brown Stuart, send him one of the swords that Stuart had had when on duty with the United States Army earlier in the year at Fort Riley, Kansas. Cooke mentioned the engagement at Bethel Church, near Hampton, on June 10, 1861. Cooke served ably as a brigadier general in the Confederate army throughout much of the Civil War; his father, Philip St. George Cooke, served ably as a brigadier general in the United States Army throughout the Civil War.

John Rogers Cooke, to Flora Cooke Stuart, June 15, 1861, photostatic copy, Cooke Family Papers, 1855–1871, Acc. 23896, Library of Virginia.

Fredericksburg Va.
June 13th 1861.
Dear Flora:
I wrote to you from Richmond, but have heard nothing in reply. I wanted one of those swords which Stuart had at Riley and which I suppose he brought with him. If you have one, send it by Adams Express to me at this point. I saw Brewer in Richmond, but as I have heard nothing of him since leaving there, I think is probable he may have been ordered off. How are you and Maria situated at Wytheville. I hope pleasantly. I am on Genl. Holmes' Staff, chief Quartermaster of the Dept. I am a 1st Lieutenant of Infantry. I intend however when the regular army is organized trying to get into the Cavalry. I find every thing here in the greatest confusion, with difficulties innumerable staring us in the face, but I think by the end of the month we will have things straightened up to a very considerable extent.
You cant imagine the amount of business to be done. We have just heard and are rejoicing over the battle at Bethel Church. Answer this at once. I would like to write more, but really have not time—love to Maria
Jno R Cocke
Mrs J E B Stuart
Wytheville
Wythe Co
Va