★★ Hooker, Joseph

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gentlemanrob

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Joseph Hooker

Hooker.jpg

Joseph Hooker was an officer in the U.S. Army from Massachusetts. He was a West Point Graduate in 1837, and achieved the rank of major general in the Union Army during the Civil War. Hooker served with distinction at the Battle of Williamsburg, and earned a reputation as an aggressive combat commander. He served throughout the war, commanding both at the Corp and Army levels, usually with distinction. However, Hooker is frequently remembered for leading the Army of the Potomac to defeat by the divided army of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May of 1863, allowing the Army of Northern Virginia the initiative to move North of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Born: November 13, 1814

Birthplace: Hadley, Massachusetts

Father: Joseph Hooker 1765 – 1852
(Buried: Brookside Cemetery, Watertown, New York)​

Mother: Mary Seymour 1780 – 1857
(Buried: Brookside Cemetery, Watertown, New York)​

Wife: Olivia Augusta Groesbeck 1825 – 1868
(Buried: Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio)​

Married: October 3, 1865 in Cincinnati, Ohio

Education:
1837: Graduated from West Point Military Academy – (29th​ in class)​

Occupation before War:
1837 – 1838: 2nd​ Lt. United States Army 1st​ Artillery​
1838 – 1848: 1st​ Lt. United States Army 1st​ Artillery​
1841: Adjutant of West Point Military Academy​
1846: Brevetted Captain for Gallantry at Battle of Monterey, Mexico​
1847: Brevetted Captain and Assistant Adjutant General
Hooker 1.jpg
1847: Brevetted Major for Gallantry at Battle of Chapultepec, Mexico​
1851 – 1853: on leave of Absence from United States Army​
Testified in court martial of Gideon Pillow against Gen. Winfield Scott​
1853: Resigned from United States Army on February 21st​
1853 – 1858: Farmer near Sonoma, California​
1858 – 1859: Superintendent of Military Roads in Oregon​
1859 – 1861: Colonel of California State Militia​

Civil War Career:
1861: His application for Commission was rejected​
1861: Borrowed money to make a trip east from California​
1861 – 1862: Brigadier General of Union Army Volunteers, Infantry
Hooker 2.jpg
1861: Served in the Defenses of Washington, D.C.​
1861 – 1862: Helped guard the Lower Potomac River​
1862: Brigade Commander Battle of Yorktown, Virginia​
1862: Brigade Commander Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia​
1862 – 1866: Major General of Union Army Volunteers, Infantry​
1862: Commander of Third Army Corps, Army of Virginia​
1862: Commander of First Army Corps, Army of the Potomac​
1862: Wounded in the foot during Battle of Antietam, Maryland​
1862 – 1868: Brigadier General in United States Army, Infantry​
1862: Commander of Fifth Army Corps, Army of the Potomac​
1862: Corps Commander during Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia​
1863: Commander of Union Army of the Potomac​
1863: Union Army Commander at the Battle of Chancellorsville​
1863: Resigned as Commander of Army of the Potomac on June 28th​
1863: Waiting on Orders in Baltimore, Maryland​
1863: Union Army Commander at Battle of Lookout Mountain, TN.​
1863: Corps Commander at Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee​
1864: Commander of 20th​ Army Corps during Atlanta Campaign​
1864 – 1865: Commander of Northern Department in Cincinnati, Ohio​
1865: Brevetted to the rank of Major General for duty at Chattanooga​
1865: Led President Lincoln’s funeral Procession in Springfield, Illinois​

Occupation after War:
1865 – 1868: Brigadier General in United States Army Infantry​
1865 – 1866: Member of Board for Retiring Disabled Officers​
1865 – 1866: Commander U.S. Army Department of the East​
1866 – 1867: Commander U.S. Army Department of the Lakes​
1867 – 1868: on Leave of Absence from United States Army​
1868: Retired United States Army as Major General on October 15th​

Died: October 31, 1879

Place of Death: 64 years old

Cause of Death: Stroke

Age at time of Death: 64 years old

Burial Place: Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio

Hooker 3.jpg
 
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jackt62

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The big mystery about Hooker still remains his abrupt turnabout from his well planned strategic move at the start of the Chancellorsville campaign. Hooker does not get sufficient credit for planning what could have been an historic encirclement of the ANV because his failure to execute the plan led to a serious defeat for the AOTP. Many reasons have been given for Hooker's change of heart (he lost "confidence in himself," his concussion from a head injury hobbled his thinking, he blamed Stoneman and Averell for the flawed cavalry raid that was to have commenced the operation) but none of these explanations truly get to the heart of the matter as to why, after successfully crossing the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers and falling on Lee's flank, Hooker ordered the AOTP to stop its movement and assume a defensive posture.
 

Polloco

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I never did hear the whole story of just why He resigned as Commander of the Army of the Potomac after Chancellorsville. He didn't just do it out of the kindness of His heart and for the good of the army. It had something to do with the command of the garrison at Harper's Ferry. There are several other "Hooker Storys" that are not really clear.
 

jackt62

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I never did hear the whole story of just why He resigned as Commander of the Army of the Potomac after Chancellorsville. He didn't just do it out of the kindness of His heart and for the good of the army. It had something to do with the command of the garrison at Harper's Ferry. There are several other "Hooker Storys" that are not really clear.
Lincoln basically called Hooker's bluff. Hooker, with good reason, wanted command of the Harpers Ferry garrison in the lead up to Lee's northward movement. But giving the garrison to Hooker was resisted by Halleck, Hooker's nominal superior officer. In any case, Lincoln and the administration were looking for some reason to relieve Hooker after his Chancellorsville fiasco. When Hooker's request for the Harper Ferry troops was turned down, Hooker offered his resignation in protest. Lincoln and Halleck quickly accepted his resignation. (The new commander of the AOTP, George Meade, was immediately given command of the Harpers Ferry garrison.)
 
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cake1979

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The big mystery about Hooker still remains his abrupt turnabout from his well planned strategic move at the start of the Chancellorsville campaign. Hooker does not get sufficient credit for planning what could have been an historic encirclement of the ANV because his failure to execute the plan led to a serious defeat for the AOTP. Many reasons have been given for Hooker's change of heart (he lost "confidence in himself," his concussion from a head injury hobbled his thinking, he blamed Stoneman and Averell for the flawed cavalry raid that was to have commenced the operation) but none of these explanations truly get to the heart of the matter as to why, after successfully crossing the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers and falling on Lee's flank, Hooker ordered the AOTP to stop its movement and assume a defensive posture.
Truly one of the great mysteries of the entire war. Terrific plan and, up to the point of his “loss of confidence”, terrific execution.

Honestly, I think he second guessed himself because things were going too well. He must have thought he was walking into a trap set by the “invincible” Lee. You can’t help but feel a little sorry for him. Had he fully carried out the plan, Hooker would be the considered at least the equal of Grant, who would have likely stayed in the West and would be best known for Vicksburg.

Happy Birthday Joe! You have kept us talking for 156 years, cementing your immortality.
 

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Another who drew Grant's ire and dislike - there's an interesting story in Catton's Grant Takes Command about when Grant was riding the train to the end of the line before transferring to horseback for the ride to Chattanooga. Grant's train made a temporary stop in the town where Hooker had made his headquarters, so Hooker sent an aide to tell Grant he would be happy to entertain the General there, and for Grant to come over. Recognizing a ploy to assert some kind of superiority over his new commander, Grant sent the aide back to tell Hooker that if he wished to see him, Hooker could come over to the train himself!

Another occasion Hooker undid himself was when, during the Atlanta Campaign in his (justified) disappointment and disgust at being passed over by Sherman for command of the Army of The Tennessee in favor of his former subordinate Oliver O. Howard, Hooker again sent in his resignation as commander of the Twentieth Corps. Less than a month later, it was the Twentieth Corps now led by Henry Slocum that was the very first of Sherman's army to enter and take possession of Atlanta!
 
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Polloco

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That "resignation" thing seemed to be a pattern of his, kind if like a juvenile throwing a tantrum. How many times did He threaten to resign?
 

drezac

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In my research on the Ohio State House Guns, I ran across this letter from General Hooker to the Governor of Ohio. The Ohio Battery he references was an ONG Battery training at camp Cleveland, who was in possession of one of the guns on the State House Grounds, and the 8th Independent battery ONG ( based out of Brooklyn, now a part of Cleveland) who were also in possession of one of the guns was assigned to handle his request. I first found this in the Official Records - it would have been transcribed from Hooker's Letterpress book.

This one was rather special for me for 2 reasons (other than it's connection to the guns):

1. I love the plunder and incendiarism line, that he had a spy in Canada, and the threat to invade Canada

2. In my research at the State Archives, I found the original letter and have actually held it in my hands.


His Excellency Governor BROUGH,
Governor of Ohio:

GOVERNOR: I learned yesterday, through sources I cannot disregard, that unusual activity prevails among Confederate refugees in Canada, and that they have it in mind to make an early descent on Cleveland or Detroit, for purposes of plunder and incendiarism. I learn this from one of our detectives, who is, in fact, one of their own number. For this reason I think that it would be advisable to retain in service the Ohio battery now at Cleveland, if you know of no objection to it, and until further orders keep it where it now is. Should an effort be made to enter the harbor of Cleveland by water, the battery would be of great service at that point. My means of obtaining information are so well perfected that in case that any raid should be projected along the Canada line in my department I expect to have the news in season to anticipate it. I need not tell you, Governor, that if anything of this sort is attempted I intend that somebody shall be hurt before it is over, if I have to go into Canada to do it. If the Canadian authorities allow our enemies to enter the territory to organize for hostile purposes, I shall exercise the same right, and if exception is taken it can be arranged afterward by negotiation. I am determined that security and tranquility shall prevail along the border while I exercise command of this department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH HOOKER,
Major-General, Commanding.
WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington City, December 3, 1864.
 
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I used to teach in Hooker's hometown of Hadley, Massachusetts, where the elementary school was named in his honor - Hooker School. Alas, I was there after they moved to a new elementary school building. I would have like to have said that I taught at "Hooker School."

(Juvenile humor, I admit, but I was teaching 13 year olds at the time.)
 
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leftyhunter

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🎂Joseph Hooker🎂


View attachment 332493
Joseph Hooker was an officer in the U.S. Army from Massachusetts. He was a West Point Graduate in 1837, and achieved the rank of major general in the Union Army during the Civil War. Hooker served with distinction at the Battle of Williamsburg, and earned a reputation as an aggressive combat commander. He served throughout the war, commanding both at the Corp and Army levels, usually with distinction. However, Hooker is frequently remembered for leading the Army of the Potomac to defeat by the divided army of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May of 1863, allowing the Army of Northern Virginia the initiative to move North of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Born: November 13, 1814

Birthplace: Hadley, Massachusetts

Father: Joseph Hooker 1765 – 1852
(Buried: Brookside Cemetery, Watertown, New York)​

Mother: Mary Seymour 1780 – 1857
(Buried: Brookside Cemetery, Watertown, New York)​

Wife: Olivia Augusta Groesbeck 1825 – 1868
(Buried: Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio)​

Married: October 3, 1865 in Cincinnati, Ohio

Education:
1837: Graduated from West Point Military Academy – (29th​ in class)​

Occupation before War:
1837 – 1838: 2nd​ Lt. United States Army 1st​ Artillery​
1838 – 1848: 1st​ Lt. United States Army 1st​ Artillery​
1841: Adjutant of West Point Military Academy​
1846: Brevetted Captain for Gallantry at Battle of Monterey, Mexico​
1847: Brevetted Captain and Assistant Adjutant GeneralView attachment 332494
1847: Brevetted Major for Gallantry at Battle of Chapultepec, Mexico​
1851 – 1853: on leave of Absence from United States Army​
Testified in court martial of Gideon Pillow against Gen. Winfield Scott​
1853: Resigned from United States Army on February 21st​
1853 – 1858: Farmer near Sonoma, California​
1858 – 1859: Superintendent of Military Roads in Oregon​
1859 – 1861: Colonel of California State Militia​

Civil War Career:
1861: His application for Commission was rejected​
1861: Borrowed money to make a trip east from California​
1861 – 1862: Brigadier General of Union Army Volunteers, InfantryView attachment 332495
1861: Served in the Defenses of Washington, D.C.​
1861 – 1862: Helped guard the Lower Potomac River​
1862: Brigade Commander Battle of Yorktown, Virginia​
1862: Brigade Commander Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia​
1862 – 1866: Major General of Union Army Volunteers, Infantry​
1862: Commander of Third Army Corps, Army of Virginia​
1862: Commander of First Army Corps, Army of the Potomac​
1862: Wounded in the foot during Battle of Antietam, Maryland​
1862 – 1868: Brigadier General in United States Army, Infantry​
1862: Commander of Fifth Army Corps, Army of the Potomac​
1862: Corps Commander during Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia​
1863: Commander of Union Army of the Potomac​
1863: Union Army Commander at the Battle of Chancellorsville​
1863: Resigned as Commander of Army of the Potomac on June 28th​
1863: Waiting on Orders in Baltimore, Maryland​
1863: Union Army Commander at Battle of Lookout Mountain, TN.​
1863: Corps Commander at Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee​
1864: Commander of 20th​ Army Corps during Atlanta Campaign​
1864 – 1865: Commander of Northern Department in Cincinnati, Ohio​
1865: Brevetted to the rank of Major General for duty at Chattanooga​
1865: Led President Lincoln’s funeral Procession in Springfield, Illinois​

Occupation after War:
1865 – 1868: Brigadier General in United States Army Infantry​
1865 – 1866: Member of Board for Retiring Disabled Officers​
1865 – 1866: Commander U.S. Army Department of the East​
1866 – 1867: Commander U.S. Army Department of the Lakes​
1867 – 1868: on Leave of Absence from United States Army​
1868: Retired United States Army as Major General on October 15th​

Died: October 31, 1879

Place of Death: 64 years old

Cause of Death: Stroke

Age at time of Death: 64 years old

Burial Place: Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio

It appears Hooker testified in favor of Pillow vs General Scott in 1853 and therefore was forced to resign from the US Army. Would this be a correct interpretation?
Somehow Hooker was rejected as an officer early in the ACW despite his distinguished service in the Mexican American War but somehow did become commissioned. No doubt he had friends in high places at least for a few years.
Hooker is certainly an interesting figure.
Leftyhunter
 

lupaglupa

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I used to teach in Hooker's hometown of Hadley, Massachusetts, where the elementary school was named in his honor - Hooker School. Alas, I was there after they moved to a new elementary school building. I would have like to have said that I taught at "Hooker School."

(Juvenile humor, I admit, but I was teaching 13 year olds at the time.)
Believe me when I tell you that in my hometown of Poughkeepsie, NY we had many juvenile laughs at those living on Hooker Avenue, named in the general's honor.
 
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lupaglupa

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lupaglupa - Even worse, two towns over is the Clapp Library. Clapp was a prominent family name in early Massachusetts.
Our city got a dubious achievement award from Esquire magazine one year when a city council member who lived on the street, after unsuccessfully trying to change the name of Hooker Avenue because he didn't like the jokes, relocated his family to Seaman Rd.
 

James N.

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It appears Hooker testified in favor of Pillow vs General Scott in 1853 and therefore was forced to resign from the US Army. Would this be a correct interpretation?
Somehow Hooker was rejected as an officer early in the ACW despite his distinguished service in the Mexican American War but somehow did become commissioned. No doubt he had friends in high places at least for a few years.
Hooker is certainly an interesting figure.
Leftyhunter
I think rejected is the wrong word - Hooker was apparently enroute from California in the early days of the conflict, thereby missing Bull Run; once he had the opportunity to meet President Lincoln in Washington soon afterward, in his typical self-promoting fashion he took that opportunity to observe something like "I'm a da*n sight better than any of the generals you had on that field" and thereby got the appointment he wanted.
 

Polloco

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I'm still puzzled as to why a friend, Billy Chapman, loaned Hooker such a huge amount. Hooker only asked for $700.00 but Chapman gave him $1,00.00, alot of money and even more back then.
 
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leftyhunter

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I think rejected is the wrong word - Hooker was apparently enroute from California in the early days of the conflict, thereby missing Bull Run; once he had the opportunity to meet President Lincoln in Washington soon afterward, in his typical self-promoting fashion he took that opportunity to observe something like "I'm a da*n sight better than any of the generals you had on that field" and thereby got the appointment he wanted.
It appears Hooker had a healthy sense of self-esteem.
Leftyhunter
 
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Our city got a dubious achievement award from Esquire magazine one year when a city council member who lived on the street, after unsuccessfully trying to change the name of Hooker Avenue because he didn't like the jokes, relocated his family to Seaman Rd.
<Wince!>
No irony there at all. I think your city council member may be a distant relation to the state rep from my hometown of Brockton, Mass, who was offended that there was a "General Hooker Entrance" to the Massachusetts state house. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/17/massachusetts-lawmaker-rename-general-hooker-entra/
 
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