Perhaps the most remarkable feat of this Madison County lawyer was his rise in the Army of the Confederate States of America. Entering as a private, Cook worked his way through the ranks, eventually becoming a general who served his country with valor.
Gen. Philip Cook's first military assignment, however, occurred 25 years before the Civil War and took him south to the swamps of Florida. Here he fought against the Seminole Indians during the Second Seminole War where he served under General Winfield Scott and participated in the rescue of General Edmund Gaines. He returned to graduate from Oglethorpe University and set up his first law practice in the central Georgia town of Forsyth.
In August, 1861, Cook mustered in as a private in Augusta, Georgia. Wounded during the battles of Malvern Hill and Chancellorsville, he spent three months recovering from the later wound, returning to assume the command of a brigade at Cold Harbor. Cook received two more wounds during his tour of duty. After the war he began a law practice in Oglethorpe (Macon County), moving to Americus (Sumter County) in 1870. He served in the U. S. House and as Georgia's Secretary of State. Cook County, Georgia is name in General Philip Cook's honor. Cook's date of death is often mis-reported