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Solomon Floyd Cook thumbnail
Solomon Floyd Cook
(1829 - 1864)

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  Martha Ann Shelton
Martha Ann Shelton Cook
(1829 - 1881)

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Solomon Floyd Cook, the 2nd child of Hence Marvin Cook lived across the ridge from his father on Caney Creek where he was a livestock farmer. He married Martha Ann Shelton (1829-1881) on October 9, 1953 in a double wedding with her sister Mary Shelton who married Thomas Hooper.   L.C. Hooper officiated at the service. Solomon and Martha soon started their family having 4 boys over the next 7 years. On July 11, 1862, with the Civil War raging, Solomon answered the call to duty and joined Company G, 62nd Regement of the NC Infantry by enlisting up for 3 years. He left Martha and the boys to tend to the farm. Solomon never did see his daughter Mary Jane since he left 5 months before she was born.

Martha Ann Shelton was the oldest of 10 children of Ellis Shelton and Milly (Amelia) Bolling. Ellis was born 1803 in Greenville Co. SC and died after 1870 in Haywood Co. NC. Ellis was the second child of William Shelton Sr who was born ca. 1780 in NC.   William married twice, first to Mary Bates (5 children) in Greenville Co. SC and 2nd to Lydia Parker (9 children).   William Sr. died after 1850 and is probably the Billy Shelton who is buried at the Rockbridge Cem. in Jackson Co. NC.   Milly Bolling was born in SC in 1810.   Ellis and Milly's children included:

  • a. Martha Ann Shelton b. 1827 or 1829 m. Solomon Floyd Cook
  • b. William Perry Shelton b. 1829 SC
  • c. Mary Arena Shelton b. 1832 SC m. Thomas Hooper
  • d. Elizabeth J. Shelton b. 1834 SC m. Mr. Hooper
  • e. John L. Shelton b. 1836 SC m. Caroline Brown
  • f. Martin Shelton b. 1836 m. Amanda E. Bishop (went to Tenn.)
  • g. Elliot Washington Shelton b. 1834 m. Martha L. Clements
  • h. Merrit R. Shelton b. 1846
  • i. Rachel Shelton b. 1849 Macon Co. NC
  • j. Thomas W. Shelton b. 1852 Macon Co. NC (went to Alabama) m. Sarah Elizabeth Jones

  • For more information on William Shelton Family and Descendants click here.

    According to Census reports Martha Ann Cook and 5 children were living on the family farm at East Laport, Jackson County, NC on July 1, 1870. She died in 1881 at the age of 52.

    Solomon Floyd Cook with rifle 79k
    Solomon Floyd Cook (1829 - 1864)
    with his rifle
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    While in the military, Solomon was in Capt. Andrew D. Hooper's troop. He showed leadership potential so after training he was promoted to the rank of Sargent. He fought mostly in Eastern Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. His last recorded "pay call" was April 30, 1864, by Capt. W. V. Deadrick. During his last battle at Cumberland Gap, TN on September 11, 1863, he was captured and taken prisoner. Col. James W. Reilly's Roll of Prisoners of War lists Solomon as captured. He and the other POWs were sent north, stopping at Louisville, KY on September 24. They joined over 6,000 other starving and ill POWs in Chicago on the 26th in a prison camp called Camp Douglas. Before the war end over 30,000 Confederate POWs would pass through Camp Douglas. Solomon remained there in deplarable conditions until he died of smallpox the following year on Dec. 11. He is now buried in a mass grave at Oakwood Cemetery, Cook County, Chicago, Ill. after first being buried in the Chicago City Cementary for a year.

  • Solomon's Civil War letters to his wife Martha
  • The Civil War in the Cumberland Gap

  • Time Line of Solomon Floyd Cook and Martha Ann Shelton
    1805 June 27 Solomon's father Hence Marvin Cook is born
    1829   Solomon is born in Haywood Co. NC
    Dec 8 Martha Ann Shelton is born in Haywood Co., NC
    1853 May 21 S. F. Cook, A. J. Wood and Wm. Wood purchase a tract of land (640 acres) near Betree Clift. [land records]
    May 21 Wm. Wood, S. F. Cook, and A. J. Wood purchase another tract of land (640 acres) near Betree Clift. [land records]
    July 16 A. J. Wood, Wm. Wood, James B. Wood and Solomon F. Cook lay claim to 100 acres in Jackson County near Chink Nob. [land records]
    Oct 9 Solomon Floyd Cook and Martha Ann Shelton marry in Sylva, NC. This was a double wedding with Martha's sister Mary marrying Thomas Hooper. L. C. Hooper officiated at the service.
    1854 June Marcus Andrew Cook, Solomon and Martha's oldest son is born.
    1856 March 20 Marion Monroe Cook, Solomon and Martha's 2nd son is born.
      S F Cook receives grant of land #266. [land records]
      S F Cook and H. B. Cook receive grant of land #247 from the State of North Carolina. They paid 5 cents an acre for 75 acres. This land was on Tennessee Creek and running along Wolf Mountain trail. [land records]
      S. F. Cook, Wm. P. Wood and A. J. Wood receives grant of land #288 from the State of North Carolina. They paid ten cents an acre for 540 acres. This was near land already owned by A. J. Wood and was probabily ajoining the tract #247 above since both are near William Brown's land. [land records]
    Sept 16 S F Cook, Wm. P. Wood and A. J. Wood sell a 640 acre tract of land to J. T Foster [land records]
    1858 May 5 Thomas Cook, Solomon and Martha's third son is born.
    1861   John C. Cook, Solomon and Martha's fourth son is born.
    1862 July 11 Solomon goes to Webster (county seat) where he enlists in the 62nd NC Reg.
    Dec. 2 Mary Jane Cook, Solomon and Martha's fifth child and first and only daughter was born. Even through it is believed that Solomon never did see Mary Jane before he died as a POW in Chicago two years later, a letter he wrote home on December 27, 1863 from Camp Douglas in Chicago says that he had left home 12 months earlier putting him at home Christmas of 1862 three weeks after Mary Jane had been born.
    1863 Jan. 11 Solomon writes home to his wife Martha from the camp at Lick Creek, Tenn. while serving in the 62nd NC Reg. He apologized for not writing sooner but said he had had a cough and wanted to wait till he had something good to report. Most of the company had had the measles. Talkes about the fight at Murfreesboro. Tells Martha to name their new baby Mary Jane.

    The letter appears to be dated Jan 1862 but must be 1863 since Solomon didn't enlist until July 1862 and the events it discussed occurred at the end of 1862. Since the year had just changed, he may have written 1862 out of habit.
    Feb. 1 Solomon writes home to his wife Martha from the camp at Lick Creek, Tenn. while serving in the 62nd NC Reg. He asks Martha to write to him regardless of wither she has good news or not. He talks about some rumors he has heard concerning the governor of Kentucky and of a peace commission forming in Richmond.
    There had been deserters in the last few days and Solomon was afraid others would do the same and break the ranks but he says he came into the army honorably and planned on being honorably discharged at the end of the war.
    He asked about the hogs and the corn crop.
    May 26 Solomon and Company G of the 62nd NC Reg. arrive at Cumberland Gap, Tenn. after a 6 day march from Morristown, Tenn. along a hot and dusty road.
    May 27 and 28 Solomon writes home to his wife Martha from the camp at Cumberland Gap, Tenn. while serving in the 62nd NC Reg. They had just arrived from Morristown and their commandor said they would rest up here for awhile. Solomon describes the destruction and toils that he had seen during the last few weeks that was caused by the war. The Yankees had abandoned their fornifications there at Cumberland Gap but had cut down every tree from the base to the top of every mountain around. The next day after over looking the fornifications, he felt that it would take a major force to remove them from the mountain.
    He reports on the news from the battles at Vickburg, Miss.
    He enclosed a poem and some tracts.
    He notes that he is in Gracies Brigade.
    August 23 Solomon writes home to his wife Martha from the camp at Cumberland Gap, Tenn. while serving in the 62nd NC Reg.
    There are rumors that about 30 thousand Yankees crossed the Cumberland mountains about 4 miles away. The is much speculation in the camp as to what they are up to. He notes again that the Conferderates are well fortified with plenty of provisions and that it should not be a problem holding off the Yankees.
    He asks Martha to write more often since it has been over a month since he has received a letter.
    Sept 9 Solomon along with most of the other Confederate soldiers who were defending Cumberland Gap, Tenn. were captured after their commander General Altho Frazer surrendered with very little fighting. Solomon's brother Ethan Allen Cook and about 400 other soldiers escaped and went home to join the NC 16th infantry.
    Sept 11 Solomon along the other Confederate soldiers who had been captured at Cumberland Gap, Tenn. began their long march north.
    According to the diary of Ezekiel A. Brown who was also captured at Cumberland Gap, the men walked for 10 days to Lexington, Ky. They then were locked in the Old Market House for 2 days before being loaded on a train. After 2 more days of travel, they arrived at Camp Douglas in Chicago.
    11 The Journey began. They spent the first night at the base of a mountain.
    12They spent the second night at Flat Lick.
    13They passed through Barboursville and stopped 8 miles outside of town for the night.
    14They marched to Wallens Creek before stopping.
    15After passing through London, Ky. they crossed Laurel Creek where they saw some abondoned Yankee wagons. They continued on to Camp Pitman where they spent the night.
    16This day they covered 13 miles crossing the Little Rockcastle Creek then went across Wildcat Mt. They spent the night along the Rockcastle River.
    17The next morning they crossed over the river and marched through a small town called Mount Vernon. One and a half miles outside of town they spent the night.
    18They march through Craborchard which was 12 miles from Mount Vernon.
    19They marched through Lancaster and spent the night at Camp Dick Robinson. White frost fell on the ground that night.
    20They left Camp Dick Robinson and marched through Briantville and then 4 mile farther, through Fisk Point in the vicinity of Daniel Boon. They then went one mile further and arrived at Camp Nelson, They then crossed the Kentucky River at Hickmans Bridge and spent the night at Camp Nelson which was 6 miles from the railroad.
    21They continued their march through the town of Nicholasville then through a beutiful country side for 12 miles to Lexington. That night the officiers were seperated from the rest of the men. All the rest of the prisoners were locked into the Old Market House.
    23After 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the 23rd they were removed from the Old Market House and sent to the train station. The train they boarded of the Louisville and Lexington RR pulled out of the station at 7 o'clock that evening. The first town they passed through was Midway followed by Frankfurt the captial of Kentucky and arrived at Louisville Ky. at daybreak.
    [Map of Louisville and Lexington RR -- 234k]
    24, 25Once they arrived in Louisville, and after waiting 3 hours, they boarded a steamboat to cross over the Ohio River into the state of Indiana and the city of Jeffersonville. It's not clear but the train cars could have been loaded on the steamboat or the men could have disembarked, put on the steamboat and then reloaded on another train in Jeffersonville. Once the train left Jeffersonville they passed through Memphis, Ind, Vianna, Semour, Coquamo and then to Indianapolis. They next passed through Sharpsville. After going through several towns that they could not read the names of because of the dark, they arrived in Chicago at about 10 o'clock on the night of the 25th and were marched over to Camp Douglas where they were assigned to barricks.
    Sept. 26 Solomon and the other prisoners wake up in Camp Douglas POW camp in Chicago where they would remain till the end of the war or until they have subccumbed to the elements or disease.
    Oct. 22 Snow fell and brought on the bitter cold to Camp Douglas.
    Dec. 27 Solomon writes home to his wife Martha from the POW camp at Camp Douglas, Ill. after his capture at Cumberland Gap, Tenn.
    He says he has been gone from home exactly 12 months when he wrote this letter. However, he had been enlisted 17 and a half months. It is not clear, but you could speculate that he could have been on a furlow then for Christmas of 1862 or that he was still in training and had finally shipped out on Dec. 27, 1862. In either cause, there is a possibility that he could have seen his daughter Mary Jane after she was born.
    He tells of the horrors cast on him living in a foreign land.
    He relays messages for several of the prisoners.
    He instructs Martha on how to write letters to him.
    1864 Jan. 26 In Camp Douglas, the year began with an unusally bitter blizzard. The temperature dropped to 25 degrees below zero. At times the snow was as deep as five feet.
    Dec. 11 Solomon dies of smallpox in Camp Douglas POW camp, Chicago, Ill.
      Solomon is buried in Chicago's City Cemetary
    1865   The bodies of most of the Confederate Soldiers buried in the City Cementary and Camp Douglas's Smallpox Cementary were dug up and reinterned in an unmarked mass grave in the new Oakwood Cemetery a few miles south of Chicago's city limit. There are between 4000 and 8000 bodies buried here.
    1870 July 1 According to Census reports Martha Ann Cook and 5 children were living on the family farm at East Laport, Jackson County, NC on July 1, 1870.
    1881   Martha Ann Shelton Cook died at the age of 52.
    1885   Hence Marvin Cook died at the age of 80.

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    We will continually update our website as information is made available. Anyone wishing to add to or correct information on our website can contact John M. Cook, Jr at or write to:

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