Hooker, Joseph (1814-79), an American general, born in Massachusetts, was educated at West Point, and served with distinction in the Mexican War. After living for eight years in retirement he joined the Northern army in 1861, and was placed in command of a body of volunteers.
In the Peninsular campaign he displayed conspicuous courage, earning for himself the title of "Fighting Joe." In January, 1863, he was appointed commander of the army of the Potomac; but, over-estimating the forces at his command, he made a rash attack on the Confederate troops under Lee and Jackson, and was defeated in two engagements near Chancellorsville (May 2-3). In consequence of his ill-success he was deprived of his command, but he distinguished himself on several subsequent occasions, and in 1866 was promoted to the rank of major-general. He retired from the army in 1868.