Washington Worries about Leadership of General Hooker

June 20, 1863

Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles writes in his diary: “Sumner’s opinion and estimate of men does not agree with Chase’s.  Sumner expresses an absolute want of confident in [Army of the Potomac Commander Joseph] Hooker; says he knows him to be a blasphemous wretch; that after crossing the Rappahannock and reaching Centerville, Hooker exultingly exclaimed, ‘The enemy is in my power, and God Almighty cannot deprive me of them.’  I have heard before of this, but not so direct and positive.  The sudden paralysis that followed, when the army in the midst of a successful career was suddenly check and commenced its retreat, has never been explained. Whiskey is said by Sumner to have done the work.  The President said if Hooker had been killed by the shot which knocked over the pillar that stunned him, we should been successful.”

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Published in: on June 20, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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