1902 Encyclopedia > Joseph Hooker

Joseph Hooker
American general
(1814-79)




JOSEPH HOOKER, (1814-1879), American general, was born in Old Hadley, Massachusetts, November 13, 1814. He was educated at the Military Academy at West Point, 1333-37, and immediately commissioned second lieutenant in the 1st Artillery. In the war with Mexico (1846-48) he served as aide-de-camp and assistant adjutant-general, and was breveted captain, major, and lieutenant-colonel, and commissioned captain, for meritorious services in the engagements at Monterey, NationalBridge, andChapultepec. He was transferred with his regiment to California in 1849. In 1853 he resigned his commission and bought a large farm near Sonoma, which he managed successfully till 1858, when he was made superintendent of military roads in Oregon. Upon the opening of hostilities in the civil war of 1861-65, he sacrificed his fine estate and offered his sword to the Federal Government. He was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers, May 17, 1361, and major-general May 5, 1862. At Williamsburg, May 5th, he attacked a strong Confederate position, and for nine hours maintained the fight, inflicting and sustaining heavy loss, and winning the title of " Fighting Joe." Tie was engaged at Fair Oaks, June 1st, and at Malvern Hill, July 1st, and did signal service at Charles City Cross Roads, June 29th, when his division aided in holding a vital position on the flank of the Union Army, in its noted " change of base." In the campaign of Northern Virginia, under General Pope, August 27 to September 1, 1862, he led his division in the actions at Bristoe Station, Manassas, and Chantilly. In the Maryland campaign, September 6-17 (under General M'Clellan), he commanded the first corps, and gallantly carried the north pass of South Mount, opening the way for the advance of the army. He opened the battle of Antietam on the 14th, and on the following morning was pitted against "Stonewall" Jackson, at the noted "corn-field," where he used his artillery with terrible effect, but received a painful wound, and was borne from the field. He was commissioned brigadier-general in the United States army September 20, 1862, and in the disastrous battle of Fredericksburg, under Burnside, he commanded the centre grand division (3d and 5th corps). He commanded the army of the Potomac January 26th to June 28th, 1863, and, having by a fine strategic movement thrown his army across a turbulent stream in face of the foe, fought a severe battle at Chancellorsville, where he was seriously injured; and, his army being thrown into an unfavourable position by the unexpected giving way of his right wing, he decided to retire. He was relieved at his own request, on the 28th of June, with the thanks of Congress "for skill, energy, and endurance " in the beginning of the Gettysburg campaign. He commanded the 20th corps (11th and 12th corps consolidated) in the Atlanta campaign, winning special distinction in the night battle of Wauhatchie, and at Lookout Mountain, "the battle above the clouds." For a hundred days, and until the capture of Atlanta, the noise of battle scarcely ceased, his corps doing signal service at Mill Creek, Resaca, New Hope Church, Pine Mount, Peach Tree Creek, and the siege of Atlanta. He was com-missioned brevet-major-general in the United States army, March 13, 1865, and retired from active service at his own request, October 15, 1868. The last years of his life were passed in the neighbourhood of New York. He died at Garden City, Long Island, October 31, 1879.







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