Phillip St. George Cocke


        Philip St. George Cocke, C.S.A.. organized Powhatan County's cavalry after the John Brown Raid using his own money to outfit the militiamen.

        He graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., in 1832 ranking sixth in his class and served at Huntsville, Ala., as Lieutenant in the 2nd artillery, 1832-33. He was promoted adjutant and resigned April 1, 1834. He was extensively engaged in planting, having large interests both in Virginia and Mississippi, and from 1853 until 1856 was president of Viginia State Agricultural Society. In the civil war he commanded the Fifth Brigade, Virginia Volunteers, of the Confederate Army at Manassas, and before the end of 1861 was obliged to leave the Army by reason of physical disability and nervous prostration. He was married to Sally Elizabeth Courtney Bowdoin, June 4, 1834. He died by his own hand from gunshot at "Belmead, " Powhatan County, Va., Dec. 26. 1861.( Amelia County Book) .

        He married Sally Elizabeth Courtney Bowdoin of Four Mile Tree in Surry County, on June 4, 1834. The bride was the only child of John Tucker Bowdoin and Sally Edwards Browne. Sally, the bride, was born on May 9, 1815 and died on November 27, 1872, outliving her husband. The younger Cockes lived for a few years in Surry, and in 1837 or 1838, they moved to Powhatan where, for the remainder of his life, Phillip St. George was active, not only in Powhatan but the affairs of Virginia.

        Phillip St. George was the seventh in descent from the Cocke immigrant. The family had lived at an older Bremo in Henrico County and later at "Swann's Point" and "Mt. Pleasant" in Surry, Mt. Pleasant contained the family burying ground and Philip had been born there. In 1853, John Hartwell and Phillip St. George placed a cenotaph in the graveyard of Mt. Pleasant as a memorial to their ancestors in Surry. Sally Courtney must have approved since she was also descended from the Cockes of Mt. Pleasant. Phillip and Sally were distant cousins. .

        Mt. Pleasant in Powhatan was named for the ancestral home in Surry, as Bremo in Fluvanna had been for the older Bremo of Henrico. Mt. Pleasant, no longer in existence, was in the pocket of Powhatan, the extreme north-central portion of the county. There they lived for about a dozen years, tending to the land, and raising the family. Phillip St. George, like his father before him, designed his future home, Belmead. (The Powhatan Book)

(By 1961 "Belmead" had long since been converted to a military school named St. Emma by the owners. This recorder had by then acquired a interest in 100 acres; and later ('1971' built his home on fifty of those acres, a short distance down the James River from "Belmead" During the schools military drills, the drums and guns could be heard at "Winterhill Farm" coming from "Belmead".)