Individual Stories

Henry Christopher McCook (1837-1911)

Born in New Lisbon, Ohio, on July 3, 1837, to a Scotch-Irish family known popularly as the "Fighting McCooks," Henry C. McCook was one of fifteen McCook men to fight for the Union. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, McCook left the Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh and headed west that summer. He stopped in Clinton, Illinois, and enlisted as first lieutenant in the 41st Illinois Infantry. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed chaplain of the regiment. After nine months of military service, McCook resigned from the chaplaincy to serve as a volunteer aid on the staff of General John McArthur. Though he intended to take another position in the army, he was convinced by friends that he could serve his country best behind the pulpit.

Years after his military service, McCook wrote an ode to commemorate the centenary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. He read his ode before the Pennsylvania Commandery of the Loyal Legion on February 3, 1909.

  • McCook Poem Cover
  • McCook Poem Excerpt
  • Images Left to Right:

    Henry C. McCook, Lincoln and His Veterans A Centenary Ode. Read before the Pennsylvania Commandery of the Loyal Legion, February 3, 1909. (n.p., [1909]).

    Excerpt from Lincoln and His Veterans.

    The inside cover of the Bible McCook used while serving as a chaplain in the Civil War contains this handwritten note (PHS Bible Collection).

  • McCook Bible Note