« PreviousContinue »
lorsville) was placed in command of the Army of the Tennessee, subject to the approval of the President. LINCOLN telegraphed SHERMAN to appoint HOOKER. SHERMAN reiterated bis desire to have Howard appointed. The President still urged HOOKER'S appointment; whereupon SHERMAN made his resignation a condition of GENERAL HOOKER's appointment. HOWARD was appointed, and Hooker, at his own request, was then relieved from command of the Twentieth Corps. This is the statement wbich has been given upon high authority. Who shall
that HOOKER was then unwise ? Critics may condemn, but generations will continue to admire.
HOOKER was assigned to the command of the Northern Department, with headquarters established at Detroit, and held no other command during the hostilities.
On October 3, 1865, he was married to Miss OLIVIA AUGUSTA GROESBECK, of Cincinnati, who died in Watertown, July 15, 1868.
Hooker bad previously met with a paralytic stroke, resulting from his Chancellorsville injury, and was for a long time an invalid. He subsequently recovered sufficiently to go about with the
was urged upon him, by officers high in rank, to distribute the troops which on his right at Chancellorsville had so carelessly performed its duty as to allow the enemy to march within its lines without firing a shot. He was urged to send a regiment from that corps to each brigade in the balance of the army, and to send its generals and staff to Washington for duty in other fields (as had quietly been done with some other officers some weeks before). HOOKER's magnanimous reply was, that the corps was coruposed of a foreign and patriotic element, and such action on his part would be misconstrued into an intentional affront to that element in the army. Besides, it would place a political hornet's nest about PRESIDENT LINCOLN which might seriously interfere with his admistration and with the line of policy it was pursuing. It is natural that a man who had commanded an army should look with disfavor upon the promotion of one of his subordinate corps commanders to the command of an army, while the army commander should be relegated to the head of a corps. With relations existing under these circumstances between HOWARD and HOOKER, and the well known disfavor with which HOOKER was personally regarded in some high quarters, is it strange that at this juncture he wished to be relieved ?
aid of a servant, but he never regained the great physical strength and health which, if not his boast, was universally attributed to him. Until the very last years of his life, he retained the same freshness of complexion and youthful expression which marked his personal appearance. Tall, well-proportioned, dignified, commanding in demeanor, graceful in action, firm of step, of engaging manner, affectionate in disposition, and with a frank, terse, and epigrammatic style of conversation, HOOKER was one of the most accomplished gentlemen and imposing soldiers who ever wore the uniform of the American army.
He died at Garden City, November 2, 1879, at the age of sixty
The obsequies took place in New York city, and were notable for the large number of officers of all ranks and arms of the service who were present, eager to pay tribute to an honored and esteemed leader. The remains were placed in state in City Hall, where they were attended by a guard from the regular army, and a guard of honor, furnished by the surviving officers of the Third Army Corps, with which HOOKER's first services in the last war commenced. Attended by an escort from the regular army, suitable to his rank, the Seventh Regiment New York State Militia, a large number of veteran officers, who followed the bearse on foot, the remains were removed at mid-day, through respectful and reverent crowds of the populace, up Broadway to the Madison Square Presbyterian Church, where impressive funeral services where held in the presence of a crowded congregation of distinguished citizens, and Rev. Dr. ADAMS delivered a brief but eloquent and appropriate address. Accompanied by a guard of honor from the regular army, and a deputation from the Army of the Cumberland, the remains were then transferred to Cincinnati, where the interment took place. Subsequently an immense meeting was held, at Music Hall in Boston, under the auspices of HOOKER's old brigade, which was attended not only by the veterans who had served under bim, but by an immense company of soldiers, veteran organizations, prominent men, and citizens generally. A fitting and appropriate
eulogy was pronounced by Rev. Dr. WARREN H. CUDWORTH, of Boston, who had served under HOOKER as chaplain. Other meetings were held by veterans in various parts of the country. At the ensuing annual meetings of the Third Army Corps Union, The Society of the Army of the Potomac, and The Society of the Army of the Cumberland, appropriate resolutions of affectionate respect and condolence were adopted.
Public estimates of HOOKER's character, it is true, bave greatly differed. He has been condemned and praised by military critics. Generally, those who have condemned have been without adequate knowledge to warrant sentence of condemnation. Generally, those who have praised have been those who best knew and understood his career.
Allowance, too, must be made of the different attitudes from which his critics looked upon this man. He undoubtedly bad his defects in the strategy of war. It is, however, more of a task to detail them with great effort, than to point to his accomplishments in his profession. His bearing and bravery ; his leadership of men in battle, if it ever ceases to be history, will still repose as a tradition as long as there is an American army. He was instinctively a general, and wherever he was upon the line of battle, he was instinctively a leader.
It was impossible for him to remain at the rear in action cool and indifferent to the immediate contest, and caring only for the general result; he was always at the front to see with his own eyes the movements of bis troops and of all other troops dependent on them.
However public estimates may differ, the personal friends of GENERAL HOOKER never differed in honoring bim with a quick, ardent, and fiery nature-faithful in friendship, but not bitter in hates ; always generous ; ever ambitious, and constantly a sharp critic of his fellow generals--not because of a vain and captious disposition, but in the true spirit of patriotic urgency in the service to which he belonged. “I bave never fought without good purpose, HOOKER said on
one occasion. " When I have decided to fight, I have done so with all the vigor and strength I
could command.” The name of “Fighting JOE HOOKER” is not a comprebensive description of the man, his traits, or his capacities. It was rather a popular but deserved tribute to a restless nature, serving under orders to antagonize the enemy. His sterling courage, his constant presence under fire, his magnificent personal bearing in the height of his physical strength, his unfailing courtesy to those under him, his genial kindliness to the plainest soldier, will never be forgotten by those who served with him.
GENERAL HOOKER loved the Army of the Cumberland. He admired and respected that great patriot and soldier, GEORGE H. THOMAS, its commander while HOOKER served with it. He placed THOMAS pre-eminent among the soldiers and Generals of the Union. He not only supported him with all bis strength, but regarded him with the personal affection common to bis army and to the country. In turn, too, it may be said, with truth, that the Army of the Cumberland loved and respected JosEPH HOOKER, and will ever revere and praise his memory.