This gallant soldier first entered the Warwickshire Militia, being gazetted Ensign 1857, and Lieutenant in 1858. He left Ireland early in life, volunteering with a number of young Irish gentry for the service of the Pope, when he became involved in hostilities with the Italian Liberals. He served creditably as a Captain in the Papal Army, and received the rank of Chevalier for his gallantry at the defence of La Roca gateway in September, 1860. After the triumph of Garibaldi young Coppinger, with many of his Irish comrades, returned to their homes in Ireland, and when war for the suppression of the Rebellion in the States broke out in 1861 five of them received, through the intercession of Archbishop Hughes, commissions in the Union army. Four of the five received staff positions which ended with the war, while Coppinger was made a Captain in the 14th Infantry, which permanently connected him with the army. Captain Coppinger served gallantly through the war, and was severely wounded at the second Battle of Bull Run. He was again wounded in the Battle of Appomattox, where General Lee surrendered 9th April, 1865. He was also engaged at Chancellorsville, Gethysburg, Mine Run, The Wilderness, Hanover Crossing, Cold Harbor, Newton, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, Five Forks, and a score or more of minor engagements. He received two brevets for his "gallant and meritorious services," and in January, 1865, he was placed in command of the 15th New York Cavalry as its Colonel, a position which he held until the regiment was mustered out of service at the close of the war. He was soon afterwards ordered to the frontier, where in 1868 he was brevetted colonel for "the zeal and energy which he displayed in command of troops operating against hostile Indians." Meanwhile he has been promoted to be Major of the 10th Infantry, and for several years past he has served as acting Inspector-General of the Department of the Missouri on the staff of General Pope, a position only given to those thoroughly versed in the manual, drill, the equipment, and the discipline of the army.
Colonel Coppinger was married on the 6th February, 1883, in Washington, to Alice Stanwood, eldest daughter of the Honble. James G. Blaine, ex-Senator and Secretary of State. The marriage was attended by President Arthur, who adjourned the regular meeting of the Cabinet that he and his constitutional advisors might attend; and also by the Speaker of the House and the whole Diplomatic Corps. General Sherman, with a large number of military officers, and Admiral Worden, with a considerable number of naval officers, were present at this ceremony.
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|This page was last updated on 25-Mar-2002.|