‘Fighting Joe’ Hooker boasted.He was confident and restless, but ultimately Learnt his Lesson— how Jackson lost his Life—Some brilliant strategic Movements—Old Salem Church—Parts played by Lee and Gordon.
General Hooker, commanding the Federal army in 1863, occupied the hills north of the Rappahannock river in rear of Fredericksburg, Va., with a force of about 125,000 thoroughly equipped and well seasoned troops. It was by far the best furnished body of soldiery at that time in the field on either side. It was commanded by ‘Fighting Joe Hooker,’ who had boasted ‘that while in command of the army of the west he had only been able to see the backs of the Confederate soldiers.’ He had been transferred to the army of the Potomac for the express purpose of taking Richmond. So sanguine was he of accomplishing this feat that he dated his general orders ‘Headquarters in the Saddle.’ General Lee's army of 59,000 veterans occupied the south bank of the river and in front of Fredericksburg. It was composed of Stonewall Jackson's and A. P. Hill's corps and McLaws' and Anderson's divisions of Longstreet's corps (Longstreet, with the balance of his corps, being at Suffolk, Va., some 200 miles away.)