Photo: General Joseph Hooker statue
Courtesy of Boston Public School Interns

Sculptors: Daniel Chester French (Figure) and Edward C. Potter (Horse)

Created: 1903

Handsome and charismatic, Major General Hooker was the third commander of the Army of the Potomac. The Hadley, Massachusetts native was a West Point graduate, and served with distinction in Mexico (1846-47).

Hooker had gained the nickname "Fighting Joe" from an errant press report, which dropped a hyphen in a dispatch that was supposed to have read, "Fighting -- Joe Hooker...." Yet the nickname fit with General Hooker's natural bravado, and stayed with him throughout his career.

He had led troops with distinction at Antietam and Fredericksburg. Yet, as was promoted President Lincoln expressed some reservation in his selection of Hooker.

He reorganized the army, and improved soldiers' conditions. Yet in his first major battle, he was out maneuvered even though Union troops were twice as numerous. Lincoln accepted Hooker's resignation after the defeat. Though success had not been his as a commander, he served honorably under Generals Grant and Sherman, and retired as a Major General in 1868.