General Orders – No. 263, 28 September 1864


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General Orders No. 263, issued from the War Department in Washington D.C., assigning Major General Joseph Hooker to the Northern Department and relieving Major General Heintzelman.



Washington, September 28, 1864

I.. By direction of the President of the United States, Major General JOSEPH HOOKER is assigned to the command of the Northern Department. He will immediately proceed to Columbus, Ohio, and relieve Major General HEINTZELMAN.

II.. Major General HEINTZELMAN, on being relieved in command of the Northern Department, will repair to Wheeling, West Virginia, report thence by letter to the Adjutant General of the Army, and there wait until he receives orders.


E. D. Townsend,

Assistant Adjutant General.


Assistant Adjutant General

Samuel P. Heintzelman graduated from the United State Military Academy in 1826. He served in the Seminole War, the Mexican-American War, and the Yuma War before being promoted to Brigadier General in May of 1861. He led the III Corps of the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsula Campaign. He was eventually relieved of command due to his age and waning aggression. He retired in 1869 and passed away in 1880.

Joseph Hooker graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1837. He served in the Seminole War and the Mexican-American War. He resigned from the military in 1853 and moved to California after his reputation was damaged by testifying in the court martial of General Gideon Pillow. At the outbreak of the Civil War he returned east and requested a commission. He commanded the 2nd Division of the III Corps in the Peninsula Campaign, and was appointed to command of the Army of the Potomac in January of 1863. He led the XX Corps in the Atlanta Campaign of 1864 until he was sent to the Northern Department. He was at the head of Lincoln’s funeral procession as it traveled through Springfield, IL on May 4, 1865. He retired from the army in 1866 and passed away in 1874.