Dr. Henry Cooke was initially taught by William Woodhull at Freehold, and in 1850, entered Rutgers College, New Brunswick. He graduated from Rutgers in 1853 with an A.B. degree. He began his initial medical studies under his father and received an A.M. degree from Rutgers in 1856. He later studied under Dr. Willard Parker of New York and took his M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York in 1857. He began his medical career by sharing his father's extensive practice in Holmdel.
During the Civil War, he served as a surgeon with the rank of major with the Twenty-ninth New Jersey Volunteer Regiment. The Regiment was raised in August and September of 1862 and was mustered into United States service for a term of nine months on 20 Sep 1862. On 28 Sep the regiment proceeded to Washington D.C., where it camped on Capitol Hill. It soon crossed the Potomac into Virginia where it was assigned to a provisional brigade in General Casey's division and posted in the southern defenses of the capitol. It remained in this area until 20 Nov when it moved to Aquia Creek, VA, and was made a part of the Army of the Potomac under General Burnside. At Fredericksburg, it came under Confederate fire on 13 Dec. On the night of 15 Dec, it withdrew to north of the Rappahannock, recrossing a pontoon bridge under terrific enemy fire.
During the winter, it camped near Belle Plain (taking part in the famous "Mud March" in January). The regiment crossed the Rappahannock on 29 Apr at Chancellorsville, held its position on the left flank with considerable loss in killed and wounded. It recrossed to the north shore on 6 May 1863, and reoccupied its winter camp near Belle Plain. About 12 Jun it moved to meet confederate forces which were then entering Maryland on the Gettysburg campaign. On 15 Jun it reached Centreville, VA, where it was relieved from duty and ordered to Washington where it was then ordered home for discharge. The unit was mustered out at Freehold, NJ, on 20 Jun 1863. The Governor of New Jersey later called for volunteer surgeons, and Dr. Cooke responded to share in the conflicts at The Wilderness and Cold Harbor.
He was a member of the District Medical Society of Monmouth County (which he served as President, Vice-President, and Secretary), the State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. He was also a member and elder of the Reformed (Dutch) Church of Holmdel. He practiced in Holmdel until the spring of 1897 when he moved to New Brunswick, NJ where he continued his profession.
He was born on 3 Feb 1833 Holmdel, NJ. He married Maria Burritt Cowdrey, daughter of Peter Anderson Cowdrey Esq. and Maria Burritt, on 8 Jun 1874. He died on 2 Dec 1919 New Brunswick, NJ, at age 86.