Amasa Cobb

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Amasa Cobb
Col. Amasa Cobb, 5th Wis. Inf - NARA - 527300.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1871
Preceded by A. Scott Sloan
Succeeded by J. Allen Barber
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
In office
Member of the Wisconsin Senate
In office
Personal details
Born (1823-09-27)September 27, 1823
Crawford County, Illinois
Died July 5, 1905(1905-07-05) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California
Political party Republican
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Rank Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Battles/wars American Civil War

Amasa Cobb (September 27, 1823 – July 5, 1905) was a Republican Wisconsin politician and an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War.


Born in Crawford County, Illinois, near Palestine, Illinois,[1][2] Cobb moved to the Wisconsin Territory in 1842 and mined for lead. He served in the Mexican-American War as a private. After the war he studied law, passed the bar and set up practice in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. He was a district attorney from 1850 to 1854, then was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 1855, serving until 1856. During his term, he was also the adjutant general of Wisconsin from 1855 to 1858. He became a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1860 and served as speaker in 1861.[3]

At the outset of the Civil War, on July 12, 1861,[1] he joined the Union army as Colonel of the 5th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, serving in the Army of the Potomac in several campaigns and battles. Most notably, Cobb succeeded Brigadier General Winfield S. Hancock in command of a brigade in second division VI Corps at the Battle of Antietam, after Hancock was transferred to command the first division II Corps. In the fall of 1862, he was elected to the 38th Congress from Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district for a two-year term.[1][2] Cobb was reelected to the 39th, 40th, and 41st Congresses, serving until 1871.[1][2] His last action with 5th Wisconsin Infantry was the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Despite being a sitting Representative in the United States House of Representatives, he resumed his military career on September 29, 1864, when he was named as Colonel of the newly raised 43rd Wisconsin Infantry Regiment.[1] After arriving at Nashville, Tennessee in October, Cobb and his regiment guarded the important supply and railroad depot at Johnsonville in Benton County, Tennessee on the Tennessee River. On November 4, Cobb's men fought off an attack by John Bell Hood's Confederates led by Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest in the Battle of Johnsonville. For the rest of the war, the regiment was positioned in various parts of Tennessee to guard railroads and supply routes, and Cobb briefly commanded a brigade under Major General Robert H. Milroy. He and his men were mustered out of the service on June 24, 1865[1] in Nashville before returning to Wisconsin and civilian life.

On January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Cobb for appointment to the grade of brevet brigadier general of volunteers to rank from March 13, 1865 for his distinguished services at the Battles of Williamsburg, Golding's Farm, Virginia during the Seven Days Battles and Antietam,[2] and the United States Senate confirmed the appointment on March 12, 1866.[1][4] After the war, Cobb became a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

In 1871, Cobb moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he started to practice law again. He was appointed mayor of Lincoln in 1873, and then became associate justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court in 1878 to 1892. The last four years, from 1888 to 1892, he served as Nebraska's chief justice.

Amasa Cobb died in Los Angeles, California on July 5, 1905.[1][2] He was buried in Wyuka Cemetery, Lincoln, Nebraska.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 177.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hunt, Roger D. and Jack R. Brown, Brevet Brigadier Generals in Blue. Gaithersburg, MD: Olde Soldier Books, Inc., 1990. ISBN 1-56013-002-4. p. 118.
  3. ^ Amasa Cobb, Wisconsin Historical Society
  4. ^ Eicher, 2001, p. 742.


Further reading[edit]

  • Nelson, Meredith K., "Amasa Cobb." Nebraska Law Bulletin 14 (November 1935): pages 197-213.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
A. Scott Sloan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 3rd congressional district

March 4, 1863 - March 3, 1871
Succeeded by
J. Allen Barber
Political offices
Preceded by
Samuel W. Little
Mayor of Lincoln
1875 - 1876
Succeeded by
Robert D. Silver, Jr.