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J. Hooker

J. Hooker

Federal (USA)

Major General

Joseph Hooker

"Fighting Joe"

(1814 - 1879)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1837;Class Rank: 29th

Command Billet: Army Corps Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: First Army Corps


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

He graduated from the USMA in 1837, served in the Seminole war, was adjutant at West Point, fought in the Mexican war, and resigned his US Army commission in 1853. He was then a farmer and served in the California state militia. In May 1861 he was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers, served in the Washington defences, and commanded the 2nd Division/3rd Corps in the Peninsula campaign, at the Seven Days, and at Second Manassas. In May 1862 he was promoted Major General of Volunteers.

On the Campaign

He was in command of the the Federal First Army Corps and was wounded slightly on the 17th in the morning combat near the Cornfield. He was succeeded in command of the Corps by Brigadier General Meade of his Third Division. After the battle, Major General McClellan sent him the following:

Sharpsburg, September 20, 1862.

Major General JOSEPH HOOKER,
Commanding Corps:

MY DEAR HOOKER: I have been very sick the last few days, and just able to go where my presence was absolutely necessary, so I could not come to see you and thank you for what you did the other day, and express my intense regret and sympathy for your unfortunate wound. Had you not been wounded when you were, I believe the result of the battle would have been the entire destruction of the rebel army, for I know that, with you at its head, your corps would have kept on until it gained the main road. As a slight expression of what I think you merit. I have requested that the brigadier-general commission rendered vacant by Mansfield's death may be given to you. I will this evening write a private note to the President on the subject, and I am glad to assure you that, so far as I can learn, it is the universal feeling of the army that are the most deserving in it.

With the sincere hope that your health may soon be restored, so that you may again be with us in the field, I am, my dear general, your sincere friend,


The rest of the War

He next commanded the Center Grand Division at Fredericksburg, commanded the Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville, and was relieved of command at his own request when he didn't receive the reinforcements that he asked for. He commanded 11th and 12th Corps in the West and led the 20th Corps at Lookout Mountain and on the Atlanta campaign. He requested to be relieved when he didn't get the command of the Army of the Tennessee after McPherson's death, and had no further field command.

After the War

He continued in career Army service retiring in 1868 due to disability.

References & notes

He is said to have restored his reputation (lost at Chancellorsville) somewhat by good leadership at Lookout Mountain and in the Atlanta campaign.


11/13/1814; Hadley, MA


10/31/1879; Garden City, NY; burial in Cincinnati, OH