Puget Sound Civil War Roundtable

Civil War Education, Remembrance and Preservation

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Who are the people on the PSCWRT Board of Directors? What are their backgrounds, interests and passions? Over the course of the next several issues of the Washington Volunteer, we will be offering short biographies of your board.

PSCWRT SECRETARY - DOUGLAS H. GALUSZKA

Doug Galuszka

Douglas H. Galuszka is the father of three year old twins, Benjamin and Gabriella, and husband of Mandy and lives in Old Town Tacoma. Doug is a native of Grand Blanc, Michigan (a suburb of Flint) and graduated from Michigan State University in 1993 with a degree in History. He retired from the Army in 2016 after 27 years of combined enlisted and commissioned service as an Infantryman and then Medical Service Officer. His assignments included Deputy Commander, US Army medical Materiel Center-Europe; Commander, Warrior Transition battalion-Europe; and Chief of Logistics, Madigan Army Medical Center. Doug deployed three times- as a United Nations Peacekeeper in Skopje, Macedonia in 1994-95; as a Planner with Vth Corps Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq in 2006; and as the Support Operations Officers with the 421st Multifunctional Medical Battalion in Balad, Iraq 2008-2009. His graduate degrees include a Masters in Military History from the US Army Command and Staff College.

Doug’s passion for the Civil War era started in elementary school, first with an interest in Abraham Lincoln and then developing into an interest in the War he led. As an adoptee to a 2d generation immigrant family, he knew of no ancestor connection to the War. He was a reenactor in middle school and high school and started attending the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College as a 12 year old. His thesis for his history master’s degree was about the logistics system in the Department of the Cumberland during the Tullahoma and Chickamauga Campaigns. After finding his birth mother a decade ago, and with the magic in Ancestory.com, he has now found his Great Great Great Grandfathers Sergeant Daniel Haynes of the 8th Tennessee Cavalry (Union) who was a Veteran of the Siege of Knoxville and Saltville Raid and Private Thomas Donahue (immigrant from County Kerry, Ireland who came to South Western Virginia in 1851 to help built the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad) who served with the 1st Virginia Infantry (Irish) Battalion and fought with Stonewall Jackson in the Army of the Valley and the 2d Corps, ANV.

THE STRANGE CASE OF SERGEANT CALVIN C. COOK

By Mark R. Terry
I first saw this story on John Bank’s Civil War Blog. Here is the link:
http://john-banks.blogspot.com/2017/03/no-end-to-things-fabulous-gettysburg.html

In early 1915, newspapers in North Carolina reported a novel incident about a Confederate veteran sneezing out a “bullet” that had been lodged in his head since the Battle of Gettysburg! The story was picked up by other newspapers across the country, including the Oakland Tribune [see article at left]. Calvin C. Cook of Catawba County, N.C. was the veteran. On the morning of Saturday, January 23, 1915, Cook was having a difficult time. For many years, his breathing had been troubled by what doctors said was a “growth” in his sinuses. That morning, he felt a big sneeze coming on. As Cook sneezed, he heard something metallic hit the floor. Reaching down, he picked up a buckshot that had just come out of his nose! He could finally breathe, and a mystery that took place almost 52 years earlier was solved.

That was the basic story. However, going through Cook’s service record on Fold3.com, and using several other references, I was impressed with what he did during the war.

Seventeen-year-old Calvin C. Cook enlisted June 15, 1861 in Alamance County, North Carolina. He became a private in Company D, 6th North Carolina Infantry. This regiment would become a veteran unit, taking an active part in many battles- First Manassas, Seven Pines, Gaines Mill, Malvern Hill, Second Manassas, and Sharpsburg, where Private Cook was wounded. His service record showed he was named to a “Roll of Honor” for his actions at Sharpsburg and when he returned to the regiment from a Richmond hospital, he was promoted to 1st Corporal. Then on December 15, 1862, just two days after the Battle of Fredericksburg, Corporal Cook was promoted to 1st Sergeant, the head non-com of Company D! Keep in mind that there were five sergeants per company, so Cook was promoted past at least four other sergeants to earn that post. During the lull imposed by the weather in the winter of 1862-63, Col. Isaac E. Avery, commander of the 6th N.C. became anxious to fill leadership positions within the regiment, while they recuperated from the heavy losses inflicted during the previous year.

Cook appeared on a “Register containing a list of Officers who were promoted for Valor and Skill” Dated 16 March 1863. He was recommended for the position of 2 Lt., Co. D, 6th N.C. by Col. Isaac E. Avery. Sadly, Sgt. Cook never received the promotion because North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance felt it was his own prerogative to promote line officers in North Carolina regiments and failed to do so.
Early in 1863, the 6th N.C. was brigaded with the 21st and 57th North Carolina Infantry Regiments under Brig. General Robert Hoke and transferred to the Second Corps. When the Battle of Chancellorsville took place, Hoke was wounded. Col. Avery was then promoted to brigade command.
July 1, 1863 found the brigade, along with Ewell’s Second Corps, coming down from the north and northeast upon the Union XI Corps. After hard fighting, they broke the Federal line, forcing the defenders back upon Cemetery Hill. The following day, after dealing with long-range artillery fire and sharpshooters, Avery’s Brigade was formed into battle line to the left of Harry Hays Louisianans. Ordered forward just around dusk, both brigades hit the northeast face of Cemetery Hill and briefly broke through the XI Corps’ lines once more. Darkness and a lack of reinforcements finally forced their retreat. During the fight, Col. Avery was mortally wounded. But what of Sgt. Cook? There is no indication in his service record that he was wounded at Gettysburg. Though he was hit by something in the face, Cook himself considered it was a small piece of shell and didn’t bother to get medical treatment. The fact that it was buckshot, probably fired from a smoothbore musket using a “buck-and-ball” cartridge (one Minie ball + 3 buckshot), might have seemed that he was hit by friendly fire. However, according to historian Paddy Griffiths, at least 10.5% of Union infantry regiments at Gettysburg were still armed with non-rifled small arms. Regardless, Cook carried this lead in his head for another five decades.

The remainder of Cook’s service in the Civil War was almost anti-climactic. That November, just before both sides would settle in for “winter quarters”, Lee’s Army occupied a line on the Rappahannock River. One of the weak spots was Rappahannock Station, where a badly constructed redoubt on the north side of the river covered a single pontoon bridge. Hay’s Louisiana Brigade was posted within the fortifications. On November 7, 1863, heavy Union forces appeared in front of the works. It was thought to be a diversion from another attack then taking place at Kelly’s Ford, approximately 5 miles to the southeast. Just in case, Hoke’s Brigade was sent over to reinforce Hays. The Union attack was underway by that time, and as dusk became night, an all-out assault took place. In what amounted to a Confederate debacle, nearly the entire brigades of Hays and Hoke were captured, along with four artillery pieces. Worse for Lee, the loss of Rappahannock Station compromised the entire line, forcing him to pull the army south of the Rapidan River. For Cook and most of the 6th N.C., the war was essentially over. He became a POW and was sent to Point Lookout, Maryland until March 14, 1865 when he was exchanged at Aiken’s Landing on the James River.

After the war, Cook became a farmer. He was married in the fall of 1866 to Elizabeth Icard. They would have two sons, John and Julius. Within five years of getting his “souvenir”, Calvin Cook and his wife were living with their younger son Julius in Auburn, Alabama where he died at the age of 86 on July 2, 1929. His remains were buried next to his wife’s back in the county he was born- Burke County, North Carolina. I wonder if the family kept the souvenir of the close call he had at Gettysburg?
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