Joseph Hooker was a Union general during the(1861–1865) and, for the first half of 1863, commander of the . Nicknamed “Fighting Joe,” Hooker was a Regular Army veteran with a checkered reputation—rumors of drunkenness dogged him for much of his career—and a talent for political infighting. When he took over the army from after the debacle at (1862), the Army of the Potomac’s morale was at an all-time low and desertion an all-time high. He reorganized its forces, virtually halted desertion, established reliable intelligence gathering, and, most important, boosted confidence. He also developed an elaborate plan secretly to flank and the on the south side of the Rappahannock River, boasting to his army that “certain destruction awaits” the Confederates. At the (1863), however, it was Hooker who was famously flanked and eventually forced to retreat. He then became a victim of infighting, and a few days before the (1863) gave up his command to .