Joseph Hooker (November 13, 1814 – October 31, 1879), sometimes called "Fighting Joe", was an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. In 1862, he commanded the I Corps of the Army of the Potomac under George McClellan. He rose to command that Army after the removal of both McClellan and Ambrose Burnside, before being removed himself, following his defeat at Chancellorsville in Virginia in May 1863. He was then transferred to join with William Sherman's army in Tennessee and Georgia, where he served competently in late 1863 and early 1864.
Hooker once opined that the United States should adopt a more dictatorial and autocratic form of government, to prevent further rebellions along the lines of the Confederate States. President Lincoln emphatically denounced this notion while acknowledging Hooker's command value. The "Fighting Joe" epithet came from a newspaper's misprint. Hooker deplored the name, as he thought it more suited to a highway bandit, but it stuck.
There is a popular legend that the connection between the word "hooker" and prostitution came about due to Joseph Hooker's soldiers harboring an inordinate number of professional women. In fact, the term seems to refer to a New York City landmark unconnected with him or his army.
Joseph Hooker in The Guns of the South
After the Army of Northern Virginia occupied Washington City, the soldiers played tourist seeing the sights when off duty. Sgt. Nate Caudell took advantage of this, going to Willard's for a drink but avoiding the bordellos to the south and east which were known as Hooker's Division after the Federal General.
Joseph Hooker in Southern Victory
Joseph Hooker commanded the right flank of the Army of the Potomac's line at the Battle of Camp Hill. He was stunned by a near-miss from Confederate artillery at that battle, and his corps' command structure broke down. Confederate General James Longstreet took advantage of his corps' inactivity to turn the flank, and the battle was lost - and the War of Secession soon after.
|Commander of the Army of the Potomac