Joe Hooker Was One Strange General

Fighting Joe Hooker is one of the stranger figures of the American Civil War. As a general, he was aggressive in both his outlook and his tactics. However, when given command of the Union Army of the Potomac, that aggression evaporated. He acted with timidity and defensiveness that brought failure, but not the end of his war or his military career.

Origins of a Soldier
Like many officers leading both armies in the Civil War, Hooker was a graduate of West Point Military Academy. After leaving the academy, he was a lieutenant in the artillery, fighting against the Seminole Indians, then served on the Canadian border and as an adjutant at West Point.

In 1846, war broke out with Mexico. Hooker served on the staff of various commanders, building up his knowledge and experience of leadership. He fought in the storming of Chapultepec, showing the boldness that was characteristic of his military style.

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