The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951 Page: 126
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
under the hesitant McClellan, it had suffered an undeserved de-
feat at Sharpsburg, or Antietam, Maryland, in September, 1862.
Later, in December of that year, although bloodily repulsed, it
rose to greatness in attacking the fortified Confederate position
on Marye's Hill at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Ambrose E. Burn-
side then joined the growing list of Federal generals who could
not win a battle against Lee, James Longstreet, and Stonewall
President Lincoln turned in desperation to a man in whom
he reposed little faith. To Joseph Hooker he wrote: "I think
that during General Burnside's command of the army you have
taken counsel of your ambition, and thwarted him as much as
you could, in which you did a great wrong to the country....
Of course, it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given
you the command." (Volume II, pp. 551-52.)
Even with this expression of little confidence ringing in his
ears, "Fighting Joe" Hooker took command of the Army of the
Potomac and almost give the lie to Lincoln's suspicions. He con-
ceived a brilliant strategic march from Fredericksburg north-
west along the Rappahannock, finally crossed to the south bank,
and placed his army in position well on Lee's left flank. His
"fatal halt" in the Wilderness gave Lee the chance to send his
own master flanker, Jackson, around to Hooker's rear. Although
the battle of Chancellorsville cost the Confederacy an exorbitant
price in the life of Jackson, it foretold the end of another link in
the Army of the Potomac's peculiar chain of command. Hooker
was through, though he was not removed until June 28, 186g-
less than a week before the opening skirmishes at Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania. George Meade had not anticipated getting Hook-
er's command and wisely took time to familiarize himself with
the position of the opposing forces before taking positive action.
During the battle of Gettysburg, Meade displayed remarkable
resolution and decision. He fought his army well, repulsed the
grand effort of General George Pickett on the third day of the
battle, and then reverted to the usual vacillation of Union com-
manders. He bungled the pursuit of Lee, and the Army of
Northern Virginia was able to retreat across the Potomac rela-
tively unharried. But Meade had effected a significant change in
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 54, July 1950 - April, 1951, periodical, 1951; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101133/m1/154/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.