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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 269

              [newspaper clipping]
THE DAILY GRAPHIC: NEW YORK, MONDAY, NO [rest cut off]

[engraving]
MAJOR-GENERAL JOSEPH HOOKER.
	DIED LAST FRIDAY.
     {FROM A PHOTOGRAPH BY BOGARDUS.}

[newspaper clipping: first column]
  The lives and deaths of great men and brave
men enrich the world.  While they live they
wave over us like the summer leaves in their full
glory of greenery, and when they die they make
future greatness and heroism more probable than
it was before.  Major-General Joseph Hooker,
who died suddenly at his residence, in Garden
City, L. I., on Friday evening last, was certainly
one of the heroes, if he was not one of the illumi-
nati of the earth.  There was a tinge of romance
about his character and career.  It is not neces-
sary to analyze this trait in him; it was there,
and his countrymen have recognized it.  And
romance is one of the things we all like
about a person.  It removes him outside the
dreary squareness and boresome commonplace-
ness of men as they run.  The ordinary question
of whether a man�s life has been, upon the whole,

[newspaper clipping: second column]
what is called a failure or a success, has nothing
to do with the glamour which the popular imagi-
nation throws, like a robe of the cloth of gold,
over those natures which in some way appeal to it.
The qualities which �stick out� are those which
mark the man.  Perfectly rounded characters are
always praised in the books, but nobody ever
falls in love with them.  �Sir,� said a cultivated
French lady to a foreigner who spoke her lan-
guage without a blunder, �I should know you
are not a Frenchman, if only by one peculiarity
you have.�  �That I speak French so badly?�
�No; because you speak it too well.  Your
accent is faultless.  Those who are born to a
language always misuse it in common conversa-
tion.�  General Hooker was a soldier who did not
include in his own personality all that it was pos-
sible for a soldier to be.  He was a man with just
faults enough to inflate the average imagination.
The soubriquet of �Fighting Joe� Hooker is an

[newspaper clipping: third column]
index to and proof of the existence of this fe [words cut off]
concerning him.  The people looked upon hi [words cut off]
some such way as loyal Englishmen of the ag [words cut off]
Richard I. looked upon that singular compou [words cut off]
superficiality and feeling, weakness and stren [words cut off]
Richard was a poor sovereign, but a splen [words cut off]
crusader;  Hooker might not have bee [words cut off]
great commander, but he was a splendid crusad [words cut off]
�and something more.  The line of his life ra [words cut off]
almost wholly through the stratum of military
matters and experiences.  His instincts were mili
tary, and he fell into the army by the resistless
predestination of his nature.  Joseph Hooker
was born at Hadley, Mass., in 1815.  He was a
descendant of Thomas Hooker, founder of the
city of Hartford, and son of Joseph Hooker, of
Enfield, Mass.  He first attended a district school
and subsequently he entered Hopkins Academy.
His father was a farmer, and had the reputation
of being a kind hearted, honest man, but who
had none of those qualities of mind which his son
exhibited; his mother, however, was a woman of
considerable intellect and energy.  At an early
age Joseph was sent to work on a farm, but
always felt the utmost repugnance for that kind
of labor, and when the opportunity was pre-
sented for his entrance to Hopkins Academy,
near Hadley, he intimated to some of his play-
mates that he would never return to field work.
While at the academy one of the teachers
called the attention of a Mr. G. C. Kellogg to the
lad�s readiness and dash, insisting that Joseph
had strong inclinations for a military career.  Mr.
Kellogg obtained for him an appointment as
cadet at West Point, which institution he entered
in 1833, much against the wishes of his parents.
Among Hooker�s classmates at the Military
Academy were Generals Benham, Sedgwick,
French, Arnold, Williams, Bates and Todd, who
remained faithful to the Union during the rebel-
lion, and Jubal A. Early, Braxton Bragg and W.
W. Mackall, who became leaders of the Confed-
erate forces.  Hooker did not graduate with
brilliancy, being the twenty-eighth on the list of
his class on June 30, 1837.
  To General Hooker is due the credit of inaugu-
rating those stringent measures which in the late
war brought the Federal cavalry from a position
laughed at and despised by the enemy�who were
natural horsemen�to one of the eminent efficiency.
Immediately after he succeeded General Burnside
in command of the Army of the Potomac he di-
rected his attention to this branch of service.
It was a common report among the infantry that
Hooker had said �he had never seen a dead
cavalryman.�  The whole force was reorganized,
and officers were selected for their efficiency more
than for their rank to command.  Several com-
mands that had behaved badly had their flags
taken from them until such time as they should
prove their right to possess them.  The result was
that the cavalry arm began to improve at once,
and was thereafter without a superior in that
branch of the service.               
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