Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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COOPER, George Henry, naval officer, born in Port Diamond, New York harbor, 27 July, 1821. He was appointed a midshipman in the United States navy on 14 August, 1837, and during that year was attached to the fleet on the coast of Florida, which was co-operating with the army in boat expeditions against the Seminole Indians. From 1838 till 1842 he was attached to the trigate" Constitution" on the Pacific, after which he spent some time in the naval school, then in Philadelphia. He was promoted to passed midshipman in June, 1843, and served on the " Flirt" during the 3lexican war. This vessel reported to General Taylor in 3larch, 1846, and Mr. Cooper commanded a detachment of men at Point Isabel, Texas, in May. After the capture of Monterey he was transferred to Com. Connor's squadron, and was present at the attacks on Tobasco, Alvarado, and Tuspan. From 1847 till 1851 he served at Norfolk, and then for five years was attached to the "Susquehanna" in the East India squadron. He received his commission as lieutenant, 8 May, 1851, and on his return from the East Indies again spent two years at Norfolk, after which he served on the frigate "Roanoke" in the home squadron, and later at the navy-yard in Portsmouth. In July, 1862, he was made commander and given the supply-vessel " Massachusetts," of the Atlantic squadron, and in 1863 was in command of the "Mercedita," of the South Atlantic blockading squadron. For seven weeks he commanded the monitor " Sangamon" inside of the Charleston roads, employed on picket-duty, and acted in concert with the army, constantly shelling Fort Sumter and the batteries on Sullivan's island. Later he was stationed in Stone inlet, South Carolina, as senior officer, co-operating with the army in expeditions against the enemy, and frequently engaged at short range. From 1863 till 1.867 he commanded successively the "Sonoma," the "Glaucus," and the "Winooski," and, after receiving his commission as captain in December, 1867, was stationed at the Norfolk navy-yard. He then spent some time at sea in command of the frigate " Colorado," and in 1872-'3 was commandant of the Norfolk navy-yard. In June, 1874, he was promoted to commodore, after which he had charge of the Pensacola navy-yard. From 1878 till 1880 he was president of the board of inspection, and commandant of the Brooklyn navy-yard until 1882. In November, 1881, he was commissioned rear-admiral and given command of the North Atlantic station, with headquarters in New York. In 1884 he was placed on the retired listo
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