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An Ancestor's Story

Updated: Mar 15

Like many of us, I have several relatives who served during the War of the Rebellion. I am a direct descendant of a few who saw little service or whose service, while admirable, was not that exciting (such as James Able Sebring, who enlisted in December 1863 and would be a member of Company L of the Twelfth Indiana Cavalry. He saw no action and spent quite some time in the hospital due to illness). However, one ancestor, although seemingly destined to never "see the elephant," was wounded on a hot morning in the north Georgia woods at a place called Chickamauga. It is with him that I have my most treasured connection to the Civil War.

Daniel W. Cooper was born in Butler County, Ohio on May 9, 1840 to Jacob Cooper and Harriet Patton. Jacob was from what is now Berkeley County, West Virginia while Harriet was born in Butler County. Jacob and Harriet were married in 1835. The Jacob Cooper family would make a home in Preble County, which lies north of Butler County.[1]

Daniel Cooper would enlist in the army on September 7, 1861. He would muster into the Thirty-Fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment on September 24th in Company G, which was raised in Preble County. The Thirty-Fifth was made up of men from four southwestern Ohio counties - Butler, Montgomery, Preble, and Warren - with over half the regiment recruited from Butler County men. Cooper would transfer to Company C as a corporal later that year. The Thirty-Fifth did not see any substantial action until the early fall of 1863, but the regiment had honorably served and was a well-trained unit, initially under the able command of Colonel Ferdinand Van Derveer.[2] The Thirty-Fifth, known as the Persimmon Regiment, would be near the battlefield of Mill Springs, arrive as late reinforcements on the field of Perryville, and completely miss Stones River. However, at Chickamauga the regiment would incur fifty perfect casualties in its first battle and earn a reputation as an excellent regiment.

Wounded at Chickamauga on September 20, 1863 with a gunshot wound to the left knee (most likely within Kelly Field during the Thirty-Fifth’s charge against Stovall’s Confederates), Daniel Cooper would be honorably discharged on July 16, 1864 in Columbus, Ohio, after serving two years, nine months, and fifteen days in the Thirty-Fifth.[3] He would file for a pension on May 13, 1867.[4]

Reverend McWhinney

After the War of the Rebellion Cooper was married to Sarah Ann Aydelotte on November 3, 1868. Sarah had been born in Preble County on January 12, 1841.[5] The marriage license was issued by George W. Thompson[6] and the wedding was presided over by Thomas Martin McWhinney, Minister of the Gospel, who had served as chaplain of the Fifty-Seventh Indiana Infantry during the war.[7] Sarah’s brother, Henry Clay Aydelotte, had Civil War service in the Twenty-Second Ohio Infantry (which was initially the Thirteenth Missouri) and then in the Second Ohio Heavy Artillery.[8]

Daniel Cooper served as Preble County Treasurer from 1880 to 1884.[9] On the census of 1880 he was listed as a farmer, aged forty, with wife Sallie (Sarah), listed as keeping house at age thirty-nine, daughter Laura Elma - listed as at school and ten years old - five-year-old son Otto Benton, and daughter Emma R. who was one. Also living in the household was Jemima Aydelotte, Sarah’s seventy-three-year-old mother.[10]

In 1894 Cooper was the commander of Post #3 (Mulharen)[11] as listed at the 28th Annual Encampment of the Department of Ohio’s Grand Army of the Republic.[12] An active man in his community, Cooper served as one of the two Republican trustees for the county children’s home 1895-1898.[13]

By 1900 Daniel, Sarah, and daughter Emma were living in Washington Township, Eaton Village.[14] Emma would marry Clarence V. Waters the following year.

In July 1901, one eastern newspaper ran an interesting and seemingly at first not related article that mentioned Daniel Cooper:


Homeseekers See Their Chances

Gradually Dwindling Away.

EL RENO, O. T., July 30. - Scenes about the lottery platform today, where the drawing for lands on the Kiowa-Comanche reservation is being conducted, were a repetition of those of yesterday. During the night and early morning the crowds had been swelled by several thousand eager people, who had arrived in prairie schooners or on trains. Many slept again upon the hillsides around the wheels of fortune, to be on hand early. Others came from up town at the break of day and secured positions as close to the platform as possible. When the second day's drawing commenced it was estimated that over 30,000 people were on hand.

The intense excitement of yesterday had told on many, and to this was added the individual feeling that each person's chance had materially diminished. Yesterday’s drawing had given to 1,000 homesteaders the privilege of selecting the best claims in the reservations. This left 12,000 claims and 106,000 applicants. It was decided to draw 2,000 names from the wheels today, 1,000 each from the El Reno and the Lawton land districts.

The drawing was started promptly, and the envelopes were taken from the wheels at a rapid rate. Among the first numbers drawn were: For the Lawton district - Joseph R. Greggs, Evansville. Ind.; William J. Thompson, Muncie, Ind.; Daniel W. Cooper, Eaton, Ohio. For the El Reno district - J. M. McKinsey, Logansport, Ind.; F. J. Telley, Franklin county, Ohio.[15]

From the Platbook of Preble County, Ohio, 1912

Although he may have been a land lottery winner, Cooper did not move to the Oklahoma Territory, residing in Eaton until 1906.[16] By 1910 both Daniel and Sarah were living with son Otto in Jackson Township, Preble County, on Otto’s sixty-one-and-a-half-acre farm, located one mile east of Campbellstown.[17] Otto also owned a general store in Campbellstown.[18]

Daniel Cooper’s son-in-law was Charles Hardin Deem, who had married daughter Elma in 1897. Deem would serve as a wagoner during the Great War in the 148th Infantry Regiment, Thirty-Seventh (Buckeye) Division. Deem had previously served as treasurer for the county.[19]

Daniel Cooper died on September 19, 1910, forty-seven years after the Battle of Chickamauga (ironically his brother-in-law Henry Clay Aydelott would die just two days later, and brother-in-law Newton Isaac Aydelott on the last day of 1910 – it must have been a terrible time for Daniel's wife Sarah). Daniel passed away on the farm of his son Otto of heart disease.[20] Sarah would file for a pension as a widow on October 3, 1910.[21] She would join Daniel in death in 1923. Daniel and Sarah Cooper are buried in Mound Cemetery, Eaton, Ohio in the same plot as son Otto. Daniel’s parents Jacob and Harriet are also buried in Mound Cemetery.

Daniel W. Cooper in my second great grand uncle. While he might be just one of my several Civil War ancestors, it is with him I have my most personal connection to the war.



[1] Daniel W. Cooper Find A Grave memorial, accessed March 20, 2021. [2] Van Derveer was a prominent man in Butler County, having served in various public offices, including sheriff, prior to the war. He had seen service in the First Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Mexican War, tasting battle at Monterrey in September 1846.

[3] Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, Volume III, Cincinnati, 1886. Eleventh Census of the United States – Special Schedule. Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, and Widows, Etc. 1890. [4] Pension Records. [5] Sarah A. Aydelotte Cooper Find A Grave memorial, accessed March 20, 2021. [6] Buried in Mound Cemetery, Eaton, Ohio. George W. Thompson Find A Grave memorial, accessed March 20, 2021.

[7] Preble County Marriage Record. Thomas M. McWhinney Find A Grave memorial, accessed March 20, 2021. McWhinney is buried in Woodhill Cemetery, Franklin, Ohio. [8] American Civil War Research Database. Henry Clay Aydelotte Find A Grave memorial, accessed October 15, 2021. [9] Lowry, R. E. – History of Preble County Ohio. B. F. Bowen and Company, Indianapolis, 1915, pg. 726. [10] United States Census, 1880. [11] Named for Captain James C. Mulharen who was killed at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 while leading Company C of the Seventy-Fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Mulharen is buried in Mound Hill Cemetery, Eaton, Ohio. James C. Mulharen Find A Grave memorial, accessed March 20, 2021. [12] Proceedings of the Twenty-Eight Annual Encampment of the Department of Ohio Grand Army of the Republic. J. C. Newcomb, Ripley, Ohio, 1894 [13] History of Preble County Ohio, pg. 167. [14] United States Census, 1900. [15] The Evening Star, Washington, D. C., July 30th, 1901. [16] History of Preble County Ohio, pg. 726. [17] United States Census, 1910. [18] History of Preble County Ohio, pg. 260. [19] Charles H. Deem Find A Grave memorial, accessed March 20th, 2021. History of Preble County Ohio, pg. 720. [20] Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953. Middle name incorrectly listed as Jackson, which was the township of residence. [21] Pension Records.

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