He was friend and foe to the Indians. Recommended by the infamous
American Civil War commander General Custer. Leader of the brave. A
gallant soldier belonging to one of Cork’s most renowned families.
Midleton’s hero. His name? J.J. Coppinger.
Wounded and survived the second Battle of Bull Run, appointed Major
for the Battle of Trevilian Station, made a Lieutenant Colonel after the
Battle of Cedar Creek, and finally honoured the highest rank of General
for fighting thirty of the fiercest conflicts. From the smoky Appalachian
mountains of Virginia to the wild west of Idaho, J.J. Coppinger carried the
fertile valleys and distillery and brewery dotted boulevards of his
homeland close to heart as he travelled across the treacherous terrain of
Born in Cork, November 10th, 1834 to Midleton’s dynasty of brewers,
bishops and bankers, John Joseph was reared on the spirit of comradery.
The Coppinger family brewery was the toast of the town, supplying the
people with the finest of beer. But good times in Cork couldn’t sway J.J.
from adventures calling across the ocean. After all, legends don’t make
history by staying home.
First a Captain in the Papal Army – where he fought in the war against
Victor Emmanuel II – J.J. secured a commission to join Union ranks in the
American Civil War. From there, his story becomes thick and rich –
littered with folklore, seductive mythology and a quick Irish wit still heard
on the streets of Midleton today.graph text here.
Yarns were shared around campfires, detailing J.J.’s heroism in Gethysburg,
Cold Harbor and Five Forks. The San Francisco Chronicle splashed details of
his outrageous flirtations across inky front pages. Accounts of colourful
confrontations in the corn strewn state of Kansas spread like wildfire. J.J.
married sweetheart Alice Stanwood Blaine in Washington in 1883, the
wedding attended by an illustrious D.C. elite including none other than
Chester A. Arthur himself – the 21st President of the United States of
America. He was blessed with two sons Blaine and Connor and a sailboat
he named the Jackdaw which was rumoured to have sailed down the
Grand River, Ohio in spectacular fashion.
Not bad for a small time boy from Midleton with brewing in his blood.
But like all great stories, comes the curtain call. J.J. Coppinger died at the
ripe age of 75 at his home on 18th Street in Washington, D. C. on November
4th, 1909 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery right near the
graves of his old war comrades. On that cool fall afternoon, the sound of a
lone trumpeter could be heard honouring the spirit of this intrepid soldier
who sailed violent oceans from County Cork to the shores of New York for
an adventure that spanned a lifetime.
Today, J.J.Coppinger’s stands in celebration of our hometown hero. Located
at 55 Main Street, Midleton in a stately historic building, this elegant
cultural bar retains its old world architecture whilst punctuating
antiquated charm with streamlined style and contemporary edge. An
eclectic mix of aged mirrors, timber floors, marble fireplaces and exposed
brick complements an extensive selection of whiskeys, wines and beers,
and memorabilia honouring the fearless Irish who fought in the American
We’re a spirited venue where great friends can gather to share tipples and
tales, trade war stories, be wined and dined, catch up over a coffee, witness
heroic sporting feats on game day, soak up live retro tunes full of style and
swag, and raise a glass to the legend himself.
There’s history in every sip.
Three cheers for the General.