Major General Joseph Hooker

Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker was born in Hadley, Massachusetts on November 13, 1814. He was educated at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he graduated 29th in his class of 50 in 1837. He served in the Seminole War, on the frontier, and as Adjutant at West Point before fighting in the Mexican War where he received three brevets.

With the outbreak of the American Civil War he was appointed brigadier general of U.S. volunteers on May 17, 1861 and commanded Hooker's brigade in the defenses of Washington. He then led Hooker's division and 2nd Division / III Corps, at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Glendale, Malvern Hill, Bristoe Station, 2nd Bull Run, and Chantilly. In May of 1862 he was promoted to major general and commanded the III Corps in the Army of Virginia and then led the I Corps, Army of the Potomac at South Mountain and Antietam where he was wounded. He led the Centre Grand Division (composed of the III and II Corps) at Fredericksburg from November 16, 1862 to January 26, 1863.

On January 27, 1863, Hooker was assigned by Abraham Lincoln to the command of the Army of the Potomac. He rehabilitated and organized this army, but his command on the battlefield failed to show the qualities that had distinguished him as a corps and division commander. The defeat of the Union troops at Chancellorsville in May 1863 was in large measure the result of Hooker's vacillation and inability to cope with the surprise actions of the Confederate leadership. In deference to Lincoln's lack of confidence in him and the pressure of public opinion in the North, Hooker resigned his command of the Army of the Potomac the following July and was later given command of the XI and XII Corps. Going to the West with the XI and XII Corps, he was given command of the XX Corps on September 24, 1863 and led them at Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Ringgold, Mill Creek Gap, Resaca, Cassville, New Hope Church, Pine Mountain, Chattahoochee, Peach Tree Creek, and the siege of Atlanta. He restored his reputation somewhat by good leadership at Lookout Mountain and in the Atlanta campaign. When Howard was named to succeed McPherson, Hooker asked to be relieved and left this command on July 28, 1864. He was then sent to the Northern Department from October 1, 1864 to June 27, 1865 and later continued in the regular army heading other departments, until his retirement as Major General in 1868 after a paralytic stroke.
Hooker was known to chafe at the constraints of higher authority during his military career. "I don't think Hooker ever liked any man under whom he was serving," a subordinate remarked. "He always thought that full credit was not given him for his fighting qualities."

The nickname, "Fighting Joe", was derived from the tag line of a series of takes sent out by Associated Press during the Seven Days' Battles. The unknown copyist headed them "Fighting--Joe Hooker," and newspapers all over the country simply removed the hyphen and used "Fighting Joe Hooker" as a subhead. Much to Hooker's disgust the name was forever associated with him.

Hooker died on October 3, 1879 in Garden City, New York. He rests beside his wife Olivia Augusta Groesbeck.

Obituaries

Daniel Massie, 55
Born: Thursday, July 08, 1965
Died: Thursday, August 06, 2020

Thomas Morsch, 72
Born: Tuesday, March 09, 1948
Died: Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Penny Tennermann, 66
Born: Wednesday, January 27, 1954
Died: Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Eleanor Parsons, 88
Born: Tuesday, September 22, 1931
Died: Sunday, August 02, 2020

Walfred "Wally" Mattson, 93
Born: Wednesday, June 01, 1927
Died: Friday, July 31, 2020

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