Augustus P. Cooke
Augustus Paul Cooke was a mid-19th century United States Navy officer.
Cooke entered the United States Naval Academy during the 1850s, and passed examinations to become a Midshipman on 29 April 1859. His nomination to the rank of Lieutenant was approved by President James Buchanan for approval by the Senate in late 1860, and became official on 28 December of that year following the retirement of Lieutenant Robert Selden, which left a vacancy in the Navy's officer corps. This highly-rigid system of officer promotion based on seniority and available positions were a common feature of 19th century navies.
When the Civil War broke out, Cooke remained loyal to the Union. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on 11 August 1862 and shortly afterwards was given command of the steamer USS Estrella when the Navy took her into service late in the year. Under Cooke's command, Estrella saw extensive service in the fighting along the Gulf Coast. He was relieved of his command shortly before the Battle of Mobile Bay and ordered back to the Union states.
Cooke remained in the navy after the end of the war and was promoted to Commander on 15 August 1870. Four years later he was appointed as the commanding officer of the newly commissioned torpedo ram USS Intrepid, giving him the distinction of being the first American naval officer to command a ship armed with self-propelled torpedoes.
After leaving Intrepid Cooke was promoted to Captain on 25 November 1881. By 1888 he was serving as a branch vice-president of the United States Naval Institute. Cooke retired from the navy on 27 May 1892.
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