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Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock



Born: February 14, 1824

Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania

Died: February 9, 1866

New York City, New York




1844: West Point Graduate

1844: Brevet 2nd Lieutenant

1855: Captain

Sept. 23, 1861: Brigadier General

Nov. 29, 1862: Major General

Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock

Historian Glenn Tucker wrote: "his tactical skill had won him the quick admiration of adversaries who had come to know him as the "Thunderbolt of the Army of the Potomac.""

1844: West Point Graduate: 18th of of 25

1844: Brevet 2nd Lieutenant in 6th U.S. Infantry stationed in Indian Territory in Red River Valley

1846-1848: Mexican/American War

Initially assigned to recruiting duties in Kentucky

July 1847: Was permitted to join his regiment in Pueblo, Mexico

August 19, 1847: Battle of Contreras

August 20, 1847: Battle of Churubusco - wounded in the knee

Remained in Mexico with 6th Infantry until peace treaty signed in 1848

Army Quartermaster and adjutant in Fort Smelling Minnesota and St. Louis, Missouri

1855: Promoted to Captain

Third Seminole War as Quartermaster

Assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

6th Infantry in Utah War

November 1858: Stationed in Southern California until start of the Civil War. Captain and assistant quartermaster under Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston

September 23, 1861: Promoted to Brigadier General and an infantry brigade in the Army of the Potomac

Peninsula Campaign

May 4-5, 1862: Battle of Williamsburg

September 17, 1862: Battle of Antietam - Assumed command of 1st Division II Corps following the wounding of Maj. Gen. Israel Richardson in the "Bloody Lane"

November 29, 1862: Promoted to Major General

December 13, 1862: Battle of Fredericksburg - attack on Marye's Heights - wounded in the abdomen

May 1-4, 1863: Battle of Chancellorsville - covered General Hooker's withdrawal and was wounded

July 1-3, 1863: Battle of Gettysburg

Replaced Gen. John F. Reynolds after he was killed the first day

Hancock was in temporary command of the left wing of the army, the I, II, III and XI Corps

Organized the defenses on Cemetery Hill

July 2, 1863: Hancock's II Corps was positioned on Cemetery Ridge

On the Union left, Gen. Longstreet smashed the III Corps and Hancock sent in his 1st Division to reinforce the Union lines at the Wheatfield

July 3, 1863: Continued his position on Cemetery Ridge and drew the force of Gen. Pickett's charge

Was wounded in his inner right thigh. The bullet had struck the pommel of his saddle allowing a nail and wood fragments to enter the wound. Because of the wound, he could not see his friend, Gen. Armistead who had been mortally wounded during the attack. Refused evacuation to the rear until the battle was completed.

Recovered from his wounds in Norristown, where he performed recruiting duties

Spring 1864: Returned to duty and field command of the II Corps under Lieut. Gen. U.S. Grant in the 1864 Overland Campaign

May 5-7, 1864: Battle of the Wilderness

May 12, 1864: Battle of Spotsylvania - Commanded the critical breakthrough assault of the Mule Shoe at the Bloody Angle

June 3, 1864: Corps suffered enormous losses

July 27-29, 1864: Battle of Deep Bottom

August 12, 1864: Promoted to Brigadier General in Regular Army

August 25, 1864: Battle of Ream's Station - Hancock's only significant defeat

November 1864: Left the field command after a year when it suffered over 40,000 casualties

Next command was Ceremonial First Veteran Corps

March 13, 1865: Promoted to Brevet Major General in Regular Army

Assigned to supervise the execution of the Lincoln assassination conspirators

1866: Promoted to Major General on Gen. Grant's recommendation

Late 1866: Transferred to command the military Department of the Missouri, which included Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico

Assigned by Gen. Sherman to lead an expedition to negotiate with Cheyenne and Souix

President Johnson did not like the way reconstruction was going, so Gen. Sherman and Gen. Hancock switched commands

New assignment placed him in command of the 5th Military district covering Louisiana and Texas

November 29, 1867: Wrote General Order Number 40 - This order expressed sentiments supporting Pres. Johnson

August 1870: Ordered 2nd Cavalry to Fort Ellis to provide a military escort for Gen. Henry D. Washburn's expedition of the Yellowstone Region

1872: Gen. Meade died leaving Gen. Hancock the army's senior general

Grant assigned him command the Division of the Atlantic headquartered at Fort Columbus in New York City

1876: Made an attempt to run in the Democratic party to gain the presidential nomination, but fell short

1880: Ran as the Democratic presidential candidate, but lost to James A. Garfield

1881: Elected president of the National Rifle Association

1885: Last public act was oversight of President Grant's funeral leading the 9-mile procession

1886: Died while still in command of the Military Division of the Atlantic

Boatner, Mark M. III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: David McKay, 1967. p 372

Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State, 1964. p 202-204

Winfield Scott Hancock. 28 March 2020. web. 15 April 2020.

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