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Brigadier-General John Cochrane, U.S.V.

Brigadier-General John Cochrane was born at Palatine, Montgomery County, New York, August 27, 1813. His father was Walter L. Cochran; grandfather, John Cochran, surgeon-general and director of the Military Hospitals of the Army of the Revolution; mother, Cornelia W. Smith, daughter of judge Peter Smith, of Peterboro, Madison County, N. Y., and only sister of Gerrit Smith of the same place; grandmother on the paternal side, Gertrude Schuyler, only sister of Major-General Philip Schuyler, of Revolutionary fame; grandfather on the maternal side, Judge Peter Smith, above named; grandmother on the maternal side, Elizabeth Livingston, oldest daughter of Colonel James Livingston of the Army of the Revolution, who, by his timely shot, drove the British sloop-of-war "Vulture" from her mooring in the North River, thus securing the capture of Andre, effecting the discomfiture of Arnold's treason, and assuring the safety of West Point, the key of the Revolution.

In 1827 General Cochrane entered Hamilton College, Clinton, Oneida County, State of New York; in 1831 was graduated; in 1834 admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York. 1846, removed to New York City, where he has since continued to reside. 1853, United States Surveyor of the port of New York during four years. 1857-61, representative in Congress from the city of New York-two terms. 1858, deputed by Common Council of the city of New York to deliver the remains of James Monroe, Fourth President of the United States, to his native State, Virginia. 1860, a member of the Board of Visitors to West Point. 1864, nominated for Vice-President of the United States, with General John C. Fremont, candidate for President. 1861, June 11, commissioned to recruit and command a regiment to serve during the war. 1861, August 27, regiment embarked from New York City for Washington. 1861, November 2, commissioned by President Abraham Lincoln colonel of the First United States Chasseurs, with rank from June 11, 1861, and 1862, July 19, brigadier of U. S. Volunteers, with rank from the fifth of July, 1862. 1863, February 25, resigned because of severe and serious physical disability; resignation accepted by the President. Battles,-Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Williamsport, and Fredericksburg. 1863-65, attorney general of the State of New York. 1872, May 1, 2, 3, at the national convention in Cincinnati of the Liberal Republican party, was chiefly instrumental in the nomination of Horace Greeley for President of the United States.

1872, president of the Common Council of the City of New York, and acting-mayor of the city temporarily. 1869, tendered by the President, U. S. Grant, the mission to Uruguay and Paraguay united; declined. 1857, member of the Society of the Cincinnati, and now vice-president of the Society in the State of New York; member of the Chamber of Commerce of New York, resigned; member of St. Nicholas Society of New York, resigned; sachem of Tammany Hall; member of the Historical Society of New York, resigned; member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, and president one year of the commandery of the State of New York; member of the Grand Army of the Republic, of the Society of the Army of the Potomac, and Sons of the Revolution. 1870, appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury under President U. S. Grant a collector of internal revenue for one of the revenue districts of the city of New York; declined.

1889, appointed police justice of the city of New York for ten years; resigned after duty one year. 1861, November 13, historic speech before his regiment in camp near Washington, in the presence of and with the approbation of Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, first insisting upon the arming of the slaves. The contemporary press announced it as the " key-note of the war." Orders in regiments of the rebel army were given afterwards not to take Colonel Cochrane prisoner, but to shoot him in battle. April 6, 1863, came this dispatch to the New York Tribune: " General Thomas (U. S. adjutant-general) appeared at Helena, Arkansas, and enlisted slaves and formed them into battalions under the proclamation of the President, January 1, 1863."

While attorney-general of New York, General Cochrane discovered that throughout the whole colonial period of the seventeenth century the waters now known as the Kills and Raritan Bay were known and accepted as part of Hudson's River. This discovery of a most important historical fact was made known by a paper read by the general before the New York Historical Society in 1863.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

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