Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
General Joseph Hooker on Horseback
At the outbreak of the American Civil War (1861–1865), Joseph Hooker was a bachelor with a reputation for drinking, gambling, womanizing, and hotheadedness. He got along with neither the U.S. army's general-in-chief, Winfield Scott, nor his successor, Henry W. Halleck. For a commission, he was forced to approach U.S. president Abraham Lincoln directly. After the First Battle of Manassas (1861), in which Union forces were routed, he told Lincoln that he was "a damned sight better general than any you had on that field." Hooker was soon appointed brigadier general and assigned to the defenses of Washington, D.C.