Joe Hooker Post #26
Hart, Oceana County, Michigan
Organized August 18, 1881
This Post was named to honor Regular Army Major General Joseph Hooker who was born in 1815 at Hadley, Massachusetts. He graduated from West Point in 1837 and served in the Mexican War rising to the rank of Captain of Artillery, and the brevet of Lieutenant Colonel on the staff. From 1859 to 1861 he was a Colonel of the California militia. With the outbreak of the Civil War he was made a Brigadier General of volunteers and put in command of the defenses of Washington on August 12, 1861.During the Peninsula campaign he was promoted to Major General for gallantry at Williamsburg. He was wounded at Antietam. He served as Commander of the Army of the Potomac in January 1863, but after losing the battle of Chancellorsville on May 2-4 he resigned his command and was then put in command of the XX Corps at Chattanooga, Tenn. Distinguished service was noted at Lookout Valley, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Ringgold between October 27 and November 27, 1863. He was actively engaged in the march to Atlanta. He held a succession of posts until September 1, 1866. He was retired because of disability in the full rank of Major General in 1868. He died October 31, 1879 at Garden City, L. I.
The Post was mustered with 22 Charter Members.
The first Post Commander was W. E. Thorp who served as a Private in Company D, 21st New York Infantry from May 1, 1861 to May 1, 1863.
Initially the Post met at the Court House on State Street. In 1883 they indicate meetings at Huff’s Hall and later in the year at the IOOF Hall, both on Main Street. In 1884 they are meeting at the Opera House on State Street. From 1885 to 1893 they alternately report meeting at the Court House and the Odd Fellows, both on State Street. They appear to have continued from then on at the Court House, or these may have all been the same building.
There are a number of notes attached to several of the Reports filed by this Post.
September 30, 1886; “Hiram Kelley, Private Co. H 154 NY Vols. Was rejected by this Post (26) Aug. 9, 1886 (signed) W. E. Thorp, Adjt.
December 31, 1887; A “boxed item”; “#94 Daniel Landon A.Q.M.G. Died Oct. the 8th 1887 was a Priv. Co. G 110 OVI. Mustered into R. M. Johnson Post 138 May 18, 1883. Transferred to Joe Hooker Post 26, Jany. 22, 1885. Generous to a fault, a friend to the needy, a kind Comrade, and associate. (signed) H. J. H”
December 31, 1930: “We have not had a Post meeting this year.”
The last Post Commander was Horace D. Turner who served as a Private in the 7th Michigan Battery from August 7, 1861 to August 9, 1865. He died on March 25, 1932.
The last Report filed by this Post was December 31, 1932 showing 5 remaining active Members. No officer rosters were reported after 1930. George W. Enslow, a Member not reported by the Post when he joined, continued as the Post Adjutant until his death. He enlisted in Company G, 97th Illinois Infantry on April 8, 1864. He transferred to Company I, 37th Illinois Infantry on July 29, 1865. He was discharged May 15, 1866 in Houston, Texas.
Although the Post was disbanded in 1932, Comrade Enslow continued to send dues for Comrade Dan Kelley and himself to Ida F. Davidson, Secretary, G.A.R., noting on Feb. 8, 1935 that they “… are all there are left here.” On Feb. 9, 1936 Comrade Enslow sent 30 cents to pay dues for Ed Allen, Wm. Wilson and G. W. Enslow. In a note dated Feb. 14, 1936, he reports that Daniel W. Kelley died Sept. 25, 1935, aged 90 years and would have been 91 on Feb. 14, 1936.