Photo of J.F. Roberts
Lt. John Daniel Cooper
1828 - 1864


Diary of Lt. John Daniel Cooper
Company G
7th Regt. Miss. Inf.

Transcribed by Chuck McMains. Mr. McMains is the great-great-grandson of Lt. Cooper.

Diary submitted to Ron Skellie for inclusion in LWF (Lest Wer Forget) book project.

“1864 Memorandum of the May Campaign

“May"

5th left winter quarters near Dalton, GA., to meet the enemy. 3 miles NW to a place called potatoe hill lay in line of battle.” [Potato Hill also called Pickett Top-Scaife map describing Rocky Face Ridge and Dug Gap Battles].

“6th Moved off the mountain into valy some skirmishing”

“7th moved back on the mountain random skirmishing continues”

“8th Still a few muskets & some cannon”

"’9th moved down in front of the mountain slight engagement in the evening, entrenched at night"

“10th "drew off a little before daylight---marched 13 miles and back within 4 miles of dalton making 26 miles today"

“11th back to Dalton".

“12th moved ten miles above Dalton to meet the enemy failing turned back within 6 and come eleven miles below making 31 miles to day”

“13th moved 3 miles to the S.W. all quiet"

“14th moved 1 1/2 miles in the same direction in positioned being 1 1/2 or 2 miles from resaca engagement opened at 12 o'clock noon, our brigade in reserve, front line entrenchments and we none heavy musketry and cannonading terrific and we having no protection suffered severely 9 killed and thirty five to forty wounded engagement lasted 8 hrs. M.R. Buckley [Martin S. Buckley 1st Sgt. Co. G] & D. S. Williams [I.S., Isaiah Williams, Pvt. Co. G] killed today."

“15 Entrenced ourselves last night-engagement renewed at daylight cannonading terrific all day but we having protection did not suffer much drawed off at night immediately after our leaving heavy skirmishing by sharp shooters marched all night."

“16th rested till 8 or 9 o'clock moved on all day nothing ocuring worthy of note pass Cartersville a little town on the rail road 15 miles below Resaca."

“17th nothing special occurring on our line"

“18th nothing of interest"

“19th got in position 8 or 9 o'clock near Casville brisk engagement---sharp shooters and artillery suffered very little our regiment now entrenched again."

“20th drawed off at 3 o'clock a.m. kept in motion untill crossed Ettawah river 25 miles above Marietta where we remained a few days."

“21st nothing particular”

“22nd Still nothing special”

“23rd moved 3 or 4 miles East and nothing new"

“24th move 8 or 10 miles in direction of Dallas"

May 25 Battle of New Hope Church
“25th deployed as skirmishers to protect our left flank near new hope church maneuvered back and forth till 5 oclk when the engagement became general and the most terrific I ever witnessed continuous till deep dark we expected to be engaged every moment---and the fighting was immediately on our right but if there was anything in front of us it did not advance. 1 o clk at night went on scouting expidition the most disagreeable duty done captured yankey staff officers and returned safe."

“26th move______3 or 4 miles to right occupied front lines entrenched under fire of enemies sharpshooters"

May 27 Battle of Pickett's Mill

"27th remained quiet in our ditches continual skirmishing immediately in front and we nothing to do but listen to the 500 different sounds of the minie ball and the no less number of sounds of the various sise and kind of cannon shot and shell which were continously passing us from both direction during the whole day casualties very slight only three men hurt skirmishing all night"

May 28 Battle of Dallas
“28th releaved by Genl. Lowring division 8 o'clock a.m. move still to the right remained only a few minutes when we moved in very quick time to left through fields at the time very brisk skirmishing all day or up to 5 o'ck. the time of my writing and we quietly resting in a butiful oakery woods skirmishing continous all the while"

“29th 2 O'clock a. m. move to the right 3 or 4 miles took positions in trenches remained comparatively quiet all day skirmishing during the night and two or three assaults on different parts of the line rested very little"

“30th all quiet this morning except picket firing which continues during the day and night."

“31st still picket firing. 9 ock pickets charge. run enemies pickets in. 2 or 3 men killed and several wounded. no advantage gained after which comparatively quiet. one assault during the night on the left enemy repulsed” [Capt. D.W. Wilkinson was killed in this assault. He was from Amite County and commanded Co. K 44th Miss., formerly Blythe's Inf.-rjs]

“1st Still picket firing and another assault on the left at night"

“2nd pickets keep up continual firing 2 Ock heavy rain no shelter am in muddy old field very uncomfortable, more pleasant in the evening one assault at night"

“3rd still at same place 8 Ock went on picket still heavy rain"

JUNE

[June 4 Johnston takes a position on Lost Mountain and Pine Top and moves to Brushy Mountain to protect the railroad.]

“4th still on picket and still raining picket ditches very muddy continual picket firing relieved at 8 Ock 11 o'ck abandon the ditches"

“5th rain continues and so does the march road extremely wet and mudy from 1 to ten inches deep in mud marched 13 hours without resting and only ten or twenty miles distance in direction of marietta and 7 miles from it butiful resting place cleared of in evening 5 ock move in position and began to entrench.”

“6 entrenchments complete and all ready for the enemy look for general engagement at any time”

“7th still at same place and all quiet”

“8th at same placed all packed ready to move 7ock 6 or 7 miles to right crossed the R.R. took position late in evening 4 miles N. of marrietta”

“June 9 ordered to entrench 12 brisk skirmishing in front our regiment ordered on picket all quiet late in evening expected to right into a fight but agreeably disappointed

“10 all quiet and very butiful morning move to right in old field miles or so 4 Ock relieved took position in lines entrenchments complete 9 or 10 Ock”

“11th all quiet raining again some skirmishing in evening rain all night”

“12 brisk skirmishing still raining up to this hour 12 noon rain and skirmishing continues incessantly orderd to be ready to move countermanded”

“13 order to be ready to move at 5 Ock still incessant rain order again countermanded rain ceased sold and cloudy some cannon

June 14 General Polk killed
“14 still cold and cloudy brisk cannon this morning relieved by Lowning Division 1 move 3 miles to right in direction of and 3 miles from marietta butiful oaky woods, Lt. Genl, Polk killed to day by random cannon shot struck through the breast severing one arm passing through the body”

“15th still in same place brisk cannading this morning on the left 2 Ock P.M. moved back to left in line entrenched brisk cannonading all day and some musketry “

“16 quiet this morning except some musketry 10 Ock a.m. heavy voliys of artillery musketry at times 4 Ock went to field hospital on account of risings”

“17th cannonading & musketry still at hospital quietly laying in an old barn ____ loft upon a pile of wheat strawn heaving cannonading and musketry this evening on the left enemy driven back”

“18 still in barnloft command raining this morning at 1 Ock and continues till 12 noon no firing to day except a few scaning cannon very cold and windy roads almost impassable heavy skirmishing this evening on the left army in motion all night rain still continues moved hospital to marietta a butifuly little town 20 miles n, of attlanta Gas.”

“19th still in marrietta with nothing definite rain continues 12 Ock left marrietta for command found it 1 1/2 miles n. marrietta and 1 E. of Kenesaw Mt. In reserve moved in position in eveng began entrenchments still raining heavy firing firing on the right cannon and musket”

“20th still working on entrenchments cloudy this morning but no rain little firing 4 Ock P.M. moved 6 miles to left passing through marietta down near church”

“21 evening reported advancing very little firing some rain cloudy and wet all day moved 2 further down lay in line of Battle quiet

June 22nd Battle of Kolb’s Farm
“22nd all quiet this morning except pickets 8 Ock ordered on the front on picket move out as skirmishers goy in position 10 or 10 Ock in a few minutes pickets were firing which gradually went into considerable skirmish. 1 Ock cannon pretty severe 4 Ock relieved and in retiring passed for a half mile through an old field in the face of the enemy which a solid roar of cannon (from three or four batteries) to the full extent of their capassities but owing to bad shooting or something else this did but little damage moved to the left to join in with the attacking party which was being made at that time but did not get in the engagement”

“23rd all quiet except pickets 4 Ock cannonading terrific on the right with occasion shell passing near us. Cannon continues till dark with heavy musketry which continues all night”

“24 continual picket firing 12 Ock move in near the enemy entrenched again expected to be attacked next morning by batteries not more than three hundred yds stronges works we ever made works complete at nigh picket firing all night”

“25 moved at 3 Ock a.m 2 or 3 miles to the S.E. in direction of & 2 miles from the rail road got in position 9 Ock entrenched again complete by 5 Ock restes quiet all night picket firing”

“26 Sunday morning and all quiet except pickets. Done something to day never done before set under the Gospel & the whiz of the shot all still skirmishing and scattering cannon still continues”

June 27th Battle of Kennesaw Mountain
“27th heavy skirmishing this morning 8 or 10 Ock enemy charge Cleburne & Cheatam with 7 lines but fail to break ours 6 Ock ordered on picket 7 ‘ heavy cannonading for an hour or two on or near Kenesaw Mountain considerable firing during the night”

“28th still firing, 8 Ock very heavy musketry & cannon for an hour or so after which comparatively quiet Ock all quiet”

“29 unusually quiet this morning not a musket nor cannon to be heard brisk cannonading late in the night for a few minutes”

“30th still quiet, some rain this morning before day firing during the day cannonading during the night”

July

“July 1st still in the same place and all quiet except some random muskets 4 Ock considerable considerable cannon & muskets in our front & on our right”

“2nd cannonading this morning at two ock daylite cannon and muskets along the line continues till 8 or 9 Ock when cannon ceases picket firing during the day”

Smyrna Station

“3rd abandoned ditches 2 ock at night move 5 or 6 miles to the southeast and near ______[Smyrna] station halted 3 a.m. took a short nap moved in position 12 noon behan entrenchments---Think a general engagement probably to morrow 4 Ock ordered on picket quiet during the night”

“4th picket firing early driving in the videtts severe picket firing till 4 Ock when the enemy charged our skirmish line with 3 lines of battle causing picket ditches by our line breaking on the left 3 ock relieved”

Chattahoochee River Line

“5th left this morning at 2 Ock marched 7 or 8 miles to south by south East---got in position 8 or 9 Ock on the Chattahoochee river found forts all ready and ditches made by new hands but it did not suit no began to dress them over the yankey began to shell fort opened on them regular artillery drill 5 or 6 men wounded one killed up to 4 Ock the time of writing 4 ½ enemy advanced there line of battle on our skirmish line which was very strong and did not give way cannon terrific”

“6th still at same place with all complete scatering picket firing with an occasional cannon from 12 noon till 2 P.m. cannon severe. Confined close to ditches without any shade very disagreeable cannon & musket still continues”

< “7th still in same place with continual picket firing cannonading resumed at day lite which continues at short intervals during the day our guns not replying just at dark our guns 15 or 18 in number let loose with all their might the yanks did the same with form 25 to 30 guns which resembled a severe thunderstorm the flash of the cannon and the bursting of shells that of lightning and the report that of continued thunder the whize of the shot and shell that of incessant showers of rain engagement lasted over an hour quiet till sometime in the night when they commensed & terrific fire which lasted some hour or so thought the enemy was coming on us”

Retreat Across the Chattahoochee

“8th quiet this morning except the usual picket firing which continues day and night also random cannon doing very little damage one man’s thigh broke 8 Ock ordered on picket in hollow under enemies cannon and near their picket line which made it extremely dangerous to get out of the picket ditches had to do on one canteen of water to day 9 Ock P.M. (The time for us to be releaved) informed that we would not be releaved till 1 Ock a.m. (as our forces were all crossing the river at which time we would draw of which we did in the face of the enemy and under fire without firing detected” [No entry for July 9th. Reading the entry on the 8th, one must assume that the company/regt. drew off after 1AM on July 9th]

“Sunday Morning
the 10th crossed the Chattahoochee river 7 miles from attlanta 3 Ock a.m. halted till all was over and thru and the pontoon bridges loaded up when we moved on in direction of Atlanta by the aid of halts & stops we were in motion till ten Ock and in 4 miles of Atlanta quiet for the night”

“11th ordered to front as reserve which were on the banks of the chattahoochee river 8 Ock enemy began to shell we began to ditch 2 Ock ditches completed and diner over and no body cereously hurt picket firing only quiet during night”

“12th releaved at day laite moved back in direction of and three miles from Attlanta on ----- creek quiet during the day rain in the evening disagreeable place to camp” [Nickajack Creek]

[Lt. John Cooper’s Diary daily entries end with the July 12th entry; however, his writings also include several poems, verses and a brief example of his creative prose written during the Atlanta Campaign. At this time a decision is being considered as to publishing these poems. Check back for updates]

Obituary of John Daniel Cooper

Source: The Mississippian
Copy from Family Scrap Book
Provided by Chuck McMains, great-great-grandson of Lt. Cooper

“Obituary J.D. Cooper.

Ten days ago it was stated in the Mississippian Extra that the wounds and general health of Lt John D. Cooper was improving and he would be able to start for home in one week. In less than half that time his friends were stunned with the telegraphic announcement of his death. We were assured both by his own and the letter of the friend who had been dispatched to conduct him to Jackson, that although his wounds were severe his condition was in no wise dangerous. This information was transmitted to his family, in Lawrence county, who were anxiously expecting his return. Oh what a heart pang was their’s when the truth—the heart-rending truth, reached in all its awful reality. ‘Alas, how poorly prepared were they for the sad intelligence’

Lt. Cooper was a native of Lawrence county, Mississippi, where he resided without interruption till the present war commenced, when he enlisted as a private in the “Goode Rifles” the second company of the infantry which entered the service from that county. At the reorganization of the regiment he was chosen Lieutenant, which position he held until his death. Some eighteen months ago he was detailed to gather conscripts and absentees from Lower Mississippi. So active was he in the performance of this duty that he incurred the animosity of all the deserters of that section, and they did not fail to give him substantial evidence of the ill-will by an act of the most cowardly incendiarism known to thinkers of dark deeds. In the dead of night they burnt his sawmill, gin and all the machinery and tools he had put in order by years of hard labor. Thus with one fell blow destroying almost the only means of support to his family.

He returned to his command in Georgia the latter part of last summer, and participated in all the battles of that veteran army up to the ill-starred engagement of Jonesboro, on the 31st of August, when he received the wounds that proved fatal.

About nine o’clock, during the engagement near Jonesboro, while approaching the enemy’s works, a portion of his regiment, coming upon piles of roots and other obstructions wavered in the charge. At this juncture, he seized a musket, bounded over the pile and called to his men to follow. He advanced some ten or fifteen paces: discharged his piece at the enemy, and turned to look after his men, when a Minnie ball entered his right shoulder, partially paralyzing both arms. He fell and lay unconscious for a time, the duration of which he had no idea. When conciousness returned and he realized his position, he found himself between fires of friend and foe, unable to crawl. He lay thus, perfectly still until the firing slackened, when he called a comrade and asked to be removed to the rear. After a while our forces receded and he became a prisoner to the enemy; but before they had time to remove him our forces had regained their lost ground and he was again protected by his own loved flag. He lay on the field in the midst of the ebbing and flowing of a fierce and doubtful contest, from 9 o’clock a.m., on the 31st of August, till the evening of September 1st, when he was removed to Lovejoy, and afterwards to the Blind School Hospital in Macon, Ga where he died the 4th of October, aged 36 years.”

“_______he spoke to his attendant and expressed regret that he had not seen his only brother. He also expressed a wish that his wife and children might have seen him before he died, not for his but for their gratification. He said he became a soldier because he thought his country had need of his services, and throughout the war he had discharged his duty faithfully to the best of his ability and understanding. Death had no terrors for him, for he died in a just and holy cause, and had nothing where with to reproach himself. He sunk in death as gradually and as calmly as one would fall into the arms of Morpheus. The Bible was his inseparable companion, and his faith was firm and unshakeable in the power of the Redeemer’s love.

Thus died a true Christian, an ardent patriot, and a brave and conscientious man. He leaves a family, consisting of a wife and five young children—one boy and four girls. May God in his mercy temper the winds to the shorn lambs. The railroad refused to bring his body, and he was decently buried in the graveyard at Macon. But his soul is at peace! It will be some consolation to his bereaved relations to know that he had every attention from the physician and nurses in charge, and that during his confinement in the hospital at macon he lacked for nothing whatever.”

NOTES:

Chuck McMains email:
"When the list is posted on the web site, please don't forget my ole granpa, 2nd Lt. John [Daniel] Cooper who enlisted as a private on August 27, 1861, was elected Sgt. and finally 2nd Lt. on May 12, 1862. He died on Oct. 4, 1864 from wounds suffered on the first day of the Battle of Jonesboro (Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 1864).” Lt. Cooper is also noted for the diary he kept during the spring campaign of 1864. His final resting place is at ___ [Rose Hill ]__ Cemetery in Macon, GA.”

Company G 7th Regt. Miss. Inf. Cooper, John Daniel (David-Hadskey) Sgt.-2nd Lt. His descendant-Chuck McMains stated that his grandpa “enlisted as a private on August 27, 1861, was elected Sgt. and finally 2nd Lt. on May 12, 1862. He died on Oct. 4, 1864 from wounds suffered on the first day of the Battle of Jonesboro (Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 1864).” Lt. Cooper is also noted for the diary he kept during the spring campaign of 1864. His final resting place is at Rose Hill Cemetery buried Row 4, Grave # 135 in Macon, GA. Cited for bravery at Chattanooga. Source: “Lest We Forget Roster”

Notes: See William J. Bass Co. G Autobiographic sketch, Miss. Dept of Archives for details of Lt. Cooper’s actions at Resaca, New Hope Church.

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