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Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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U.S. Civil War - U.S. Navy

John Cooper

  • Also Known As: Mather, John Laver
  • Rank: Coxswain (Highest Rank: Quartermaster)
  • Conflict/Era: U.S. Civil War
  • Unit/Command:
    U.S.S. Brooklyn
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Navy
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: August 5, 1864
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: Mobile Bay, Alabama, USA

First Award: On board the U.S.S. Brooklyn during action against rebel forts and gunboats and with the ram Tennessee, in Mobile Bay, on 5 August 1864. Despite severe damage to his ship and the loss of several men on board as enemy fire raked her decks from stem to stern, Cooper fought his gun with skill and courage throughout the furious battle which resulted in the surrender of the prize rebel ram Tennessee and in the damaging and destruction of batteries at Fort Morgan.

Additional Details
  • Accredited to: New York, New York
  • Awarded Posthumously: No
  • Born: July 24, 1828, Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
  • Died: August 22, 1891, Staten Island, NY, United States
  • Buried: Cypress Hills National Cemetery (MH) (2-5022), Brooklyn, NY, United States
From the CMOHS Archives

John L. Cooper's birth name was John Laver Mather. He changed his last name to "Cooper" when he enlisted.


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