Presented by Linda Cunningham Fluharty.


Obtained from the National Archives.

SAMUEL COOPER, born about 1843 in Richhill Township, Greene County, Pa., was the son of John Johnston Cooper, born in Ireland in 1810, and his wife, Sarah, whom he married in Ireland before arriving in the United States on August 1, 1836.

According to John J. Cooper's statements in an affidavit, included in his application for a Dependent Father's Pension, after he arrived from Ireland, he "lived in Wheeling, W.Va. for nearly five years." There was a John Cooper in Marshall County in the 1840 census and tax records, but may have been another man of that name, known to have lived there. In any case, in 1841, he stated he acquired property and moved with his family to Richhill Township, Greene County, Pa. Samuel was born after the move. Additional property was purchased in Greene County, in both Springhill and Richhill Townships, but the family home was in Richhill. Mr. Cooper stated he once owned 2 acres near Cameron that he sold before the war.

At the time of the 1850 census of Richhill Township, Pa., John Cooper and his wife Sarah Ann, were the parents of Robert, 15, born in Ireland; Mary Ann, 14, born in New Jersey; William, 12, born in Va.; Eliza Jane, 9, born in Va.; Samuel, 7, born in Pa.; Margaret, 5, born in Pa.; Rebecca, 1, born in Pa.

At age 21, Samuel Cooper joined for duty and enrolled at Wheeling on Feb. 23, 1864 to serve in Company "B" 1st West Virginia Cavalry. He mustered in at Wheeling on Mar. 1, 1864. His enlistment was credited to Richhill Twp., Pa.

Samuel Cooper "was killed while in the service in line of duty near Wytheville on the Va. and Tenn. Railroad on or about May 10" 1864 (on raid to destroy road.)" His body was not recovered. In an affidavit, a comrade, Samuel H. Barnett, stated that he saw Cooper in said action but did not see him afterward - but his horse came out without him. Affiant's opinion was that Cooper was killed. Another comrade, Nathaniel Kerr, stated that he was with Samuel Cooper in action and saw him in the act of shooting on the retreat. He called to him not to shoot and that was the last he saw of Cooper.

Following Samuel's death, John Cooper contacted the government and established that his son had died in war. On March 16, 1866, Mr. Cooper received a certificate for $261.79, which included his son's back pay and a $240 bounty.

Mother, Sarah Cooper, died on April 25, 1883.

John Cooper filed a claim for a "Dependent Father's Pension" in 1888, and received certificate 366.860 on November 1, 1890.

Acquaintances reported the father, John J. Cooper, to the pension office, stating that he should not qualify for a pension because he was "well to do," owned significant property in Greene County, and had adequate means of support. A Special Investigation ensued and Mr. Cooper was dropped from the pension rolls in 1896.

At least two people claimed that Samuel's brother, William, had been drafted and the father "concealed him" throughout the war; he was never in service.