George W. Hutchings

Date of Birth

1830

Date of Death

March 4, 1894

Letters Authored

1

Letters Received

0

George W. Hutchings was born 189 years ago.
125 years ago, George W. Hutchings passed away at the age of 64.

Letters Authored in Collection

History

INTRODUCTION
Little is known about George W. Hutchings the author of this letter, other than he mustered into the 178th New York 6 Aug 1863 and he was a hospital steward. Additionally he is reported in the Civil War Data Base to have deserted while on furlough 15 Jan 1865. We have a little more information on the subject of his letter, Dr. Henry C. Cooper. Henry C. Cooper gave his residence as Phillipsburg, N. J. when he enlisted as a Captain 18 Sep 1861. He was commissioned into Co. E of the of the NJ 7th Infantry, but resigned 27 May 1862. On 1 Dec 1862, he was commissioned into Field and Staff of the 178th NY. He was promoted to assistant surgeon 1 Jul 1863 and full surgeon 11 Apr 1865. Dr. Cooper was taken prisoner at Old Town Creek, Mississippi on 15 Jul 1864, which is the subject of this letter. He was released 1 Sept 1864. He mustered out 20 Apr 1866, serving for virtually the whole War.

THE LETTER
The letter was written by George Hutchings in response to a letter written by Maria Cooper, Henry's mother. Mrs. Cooper apparently had inquired as to Henry's whereabouts and well being. Hutchings responds that no one really knows, but that he suspects that the Confederates have taken him prisoner and are using him to supplement their lack of surgeons. He writes that two other doctors, Dr. Garrison of the 52nd Indiana, and Dr. Little of the 24th Mo., have similarly disappeared and he conjectures that all are being held by the Confederates.

It turns out that George Hutchings hunch was correct as to Dr. Cooper's whereabouts. The 52nd Indiana had a surgeon by the name of James L. Garrison, but there is no indication in the CW Data Base that he was captured and the same is true for Dr. John Little of the 24th Mo; however there is no indication in the CW data base that the other two doctors were missing, yet the letter seems to confirm that they were.

HENRY COOPER'S FAMILY
Father: Edward C. Cooper (b. abt 1808 in NY)
Mother: Maria Cooper (b. abt. 1808 in NY, maiden name not yet know)

Probable sibling: Edward Cooper (b. abt. 1836, based upon census data)

Wife: Mary A. Cooper (b. abt. 1837, based upon census data. Maiden name unknown.

1850 CENSUS
Henry C. Cooper, 20, is enumerated as living in the 8th Ward, New York City, NY. The head of the household is Edward C. Cooper, 42, a physician. Listed also in the household is Maria Cooper, 42, and Edward Cooper 14.

1860 CENSUS
Henry C. Cooper, 30, is enumerated as living in Alexandria, New Jersey as the head of household. Also listed is Mary Cooper, 23, born in NJ.

1880 CENSUS
Henry C. Cooper, 40, is enumerated as living in Brooklyn, Kings County, NY. His occupation is noted as physician. Also listed in his household are: Mary, 40, noted as wife, and Florence, 11, noted as daughter and at school.

NEW YORK TIMES NEWSPAPER ARTICLE 5 Mar 1894
“Dr. Henry C. Cooper, clerk of the medical department of the University of the city of New-York, died suddenly yesterday afternoon, at his rooms in the medical college, 410 East Twenty-sixth Street, of heart failure.

Dr. Cooper became very ill yesterday morning and his family physician, Dr. William M. H. McEnroe of 17 East Twelfth Street, and Dr. Sproull of Bellevue Hospital were called in. Word was also sent to Dr. Cooper's family in Brooklyn. His wife and daughter were present when he died.
Dr. Cooper was accustomed to spend part of his time at his rooms in the college, in order to be near his work.

He had been a clerk of the college for seventeen years, and was widely known and highly respected by the physicians of New-York. He was also a great favorite among the medical students of the university.
Dr. Cooper was a graduate of the Medical College of the University of the City of New-York.”*

*http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9D01E7D61F31E033A25756C0A9659C94659ED7CF

Photographs