Despite any lingering doubts about commander of the Army of the Potomac General Joseph Hooker, Abraham Lincoln was determined to see Hooker victorious on the battlefield.
On April 4, 1863, President Lincoln journeyed by boat from Washington, D.C. to Fredericksburg to confer with his general. Over the next five days Lincoln attempted to focus Hooker’s attention on Robert E. Lee’s army rather than Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, arguing that the city would fall only after Lee was defeated in the field.
The president also had the opportunity to visit with Hooker’s troops at Falmouth. Lincoln was overwhelmed with the popular support and personal attention shown him by Hooker’s troops; clearly their affection for “Old Abe” underscored how important he was to the overall Union war effort.