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1863 February 4: General Hooker Takes Command

February 5, 2013

Following is the news from under the headline “War News” in the February 4, 1863, issue of The Prescott Journal.  You probably remember from last week that General Joseph Hooker has just replaced General Ambrose E. Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac.

W A R   N E W S

GENERAL HOOKER’S COMMAND.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, }
January 27th, 1863. }

The following has just been published to the army:

Headquarters, Army Potomac, Camp near Falmouth, January 26th.

General Orders No. 1.

By direction of the President, I, the undersigned, have assumed command of the army of the Potomac.

He enters upon the discharge of his duties, imposed by this trust, with a just appreciation of their responsibility.

Since the formation of this army he has been identified with its history.  He has shared with you its glories and reverses, with no other desire than that these relations might remain unchanged until its destiny should be accomplished.  In the record of your achivements [sic] there is much to be proud of, and with the blessing of God we will contribute something to the renown of our arms and the success of our cause.

To secure these ends your commander will require the cheerful and zealous cooperation of every officer and soldier in this army.  In equipment, intelligence and valor the enemy is our inferior; let us never hesitate to give him battle wherever we can find him.  The undersigned only gives expression to the feelings of this army when he conveys to our late Commander, Major General Burnside, the most cordial good wishes for his future.

My staff will be announced as soon as organized.

Signed,        JOSEPH HOOKER.
Major, Gen’l Com’g Army Potomac.

Farewell Address of General Franklin.

The following is the farewell address of Gen. Eranklin [sic: William B. Franklin] upon leaving his Grand Division.  When the General came out from his quarters to proceed to the railroad station, he found assembled a cavalcade of two hundred of the officers of the division, who escorted him to the cars:

HEADQUARTERS LEFT GRAND DIVISION, }
January 26th 1863. }

To the officers and men of the Left Grand Division:

In obedience to the order of the highes[t] authority, the undersigned relinquishes the command of the Left Grand Division.  He does so with sincere regret.  His connection with the command has ever been pleasant.  The prompt obedience and cheerful co-operation you have at all times rendered, your patient endurance upon the march, your steady bravery upon the field, the manly determination with which you have encountered and overcome the dangers and hardships of several trying campaigns, command his admiration and gratitude.  All of you are endeared to him by gallant conduct and loyal service, and most of you by the memories of many battle fields, and the proud recollection that from none of them have you been driven back.  By these common memories he exorts [sic] you to prove true and fight gallantly in the future, as you have ever fought in the past, for the great cause in which you are engaged, believing that for yourselves you will win imperishable fame, for your country final and enduring victory.

In severing a connection which you have made so dear, he asks that no one will believe that he voluntarily parts from you in the face of the enemy.

W. B. FRANKLIN.
Major General Volunteer.

News from Richmond.

RICHMOND, Feb. 5, 1863.

The Richmond Whig of Saturday has the followiny [sic]: A telegram was received Thursday night announcing the capture of the British steamer Princes Royal, attempting to run the blockade off Charleston.

This vessel recently left Halifax, and the blockaders were on the lookout for her.  She had a very valuable cargo: 8 cannon, 4 steam engines for gunboats, rifles, powder, &c.  A party of English workmen skilled in the manufacture of projectiles was also captured aboard.

The pilot and some of the crew escaped in boats to Charleston, bringing to the Confederate government important dispatches.

GENERAL BUTLER’S COMMAND.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1.

(Special to the Tribune)—Gen. Butler [Benjamin F. Butler] has had several interviews with the President and Secretary of War, who formally renewed the proposition that he shall go back to New Orleans, to resume command of the Department of the Gulf and Texas, and the troops which Gen. Banks [Nathaniel P. Banks] will lead thither, but with additional powers and responsibilities, including those attached to the organization of an African army on the Mississippi.

It is said that Butler now hesitates about accepting the command in the shape offered, fearing that the means to be given him are altogether disproportionate to the end to be accomplished.

Joseph Hooker (cropped), from the Library of Congress (see footnote 1)

Joseph Hooker (cropped), from the Library of Congress (see footnote)

— The Cincinnati Commercial says that next to McClellan [George B. McClellan] in the army of Potomac, the boys who carry the guns, believe in “Joe” Hooker.  He is a gentleman of winning personal qualities.  There is that in his personal appearance that demands respect and impart[s] confidence.  Erect, alert, with a piercing, kindling blue eye, heavy boned under jaw, thin lips, quietly and smiling compressed, head poised like a game-cock’s brilliant, slightly curling hair, a high, compact, forehead, a form, broad shouldered, deep-chested, slight in the waist, his appearance is superb and commanding.

1.  Photograph of Joseph Hooker, taken during the Civil War, is from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. The photo was taken by the [Mathew] Brady National Photographic Art Gallery in Washington, D.C.

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