(1798–1876) Confederate army officer, born in Fishkill, New York. Cooper was military assistant to the secretary of war in the Martin Van Buren, James K. Polk, and Zachary Taylor administrations. He was the author of A Concise System of Instructions and Regulations for the Militia and Volunteers of the United States.. . (1836), which was very popular with state militias. He served as adjutant general of the army from 1852 until he resigned his commission in 1861. Cooper, a close friend and confidant of Jefferson Davis, had strong ties to the South and owned a farm in Virgina. Upon secession, Cooper traveled to the Confederate capital in Montgomery, Alabama, and offered his services to Davis. Davis appointed Cooper adjutant and inspector general of the Confederate army. Made a full general later in 1861, he remained throughout the Civil War the highest ranking officer of the Confederate army. Although Davis referred to him as chief of staff of the army, Cooper confined his office to administrative support.
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.