Brigadier General & Senator Francis Marion Cockrell

Missouri & Texas

Brigadier General

Missouri Senator



Francis Marion Cockrell
(October 1, 1834 – December 13, 1915)

was a Confederate military commander and American politician from the state of Missouri. He served as a United States Senator from Missouri for five terms. He was a prominent member of the famed South–Cockrell–Hargis family of Southern politicians.

Cockrell was born in Warrensburg, Johnson County, Missouri to Joseph and Nancy Cockrell, and was a grandson to Reverend Simon and Mary Magdalene (Vardeman) Cockrell.  His older brother was Jeremiah Vardaman Cockrell, who was also a Confederate colonel and subsequently a United States Congressman from Texas in the 1890s.  Francis Cockrell attended local schools and became a lawyer as a young man, practicing law in Warrensburg.  

At the beginning of the American Civil War in 1861, Cockrell joined the Confederate Army as a captain. He eventually rose to the rank of brigadier general and was an important leader in the Vicksburg Campaign. In April 1865, shortly before the end of the war which resulted in defeat for the Confederates, Cockrell was captured at Fort Blakeley Alabama, but was paroled after a few weeks. He returned to his law practice in Missouri.

In 1874, Cockrell, who became a member of the United States Democratic Party, was elected to the U.S. Senate from Missouri by the state legislature. He served in the Senate from 1875 to 1905, when he retired. He held several committee chairmanships, including the chairmanships of the Claims Committee, Engrossed Bills Committee and Appropriations Committee during his senate career.

He was appointed to the Interstate Commerce Commission by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905.  He served on the Commission until 1910.  Cockrell then became part of a commission which negotiated the boundaries between the state of Texas and the New Mexico Territory, which was about to become a state.  In 1912, he became a director of ordnance at the War Department.  He remained in that job until his death in Washington, D.C. Dec. 15, 1915 with internment in Warrensburg Cemetery, Warrensburg, Mo.

Biography researched by David Vardiman


Copyright 2012