2nd Manassas - Aug. 1862
The Battle of Gettysburg - Friday July 3, 1863
The Wounding of Union Major General Winfield S. Hancock

Monument to Major General Winfield Scott Hancock
Major General Winfield Scott Hancock was one of the most respected officers in the Union Army. His arrival on the battlefield July 1 helped solidify the Federal line stretching from Culp's Hill, over Cemetery Hill, and along Cemetery Ridge. During the massive artillery bombardment of the Union lines on Day 3 of the Battle, Union Major General Hancock road slowly along the lines, greatly inspiring his men as shot and shell rained all around. After conferring with General Stannard, a searing pain shot through Hancock's leg. Although painfully wounded in the upper right thigh with debris, possibly from his saddle, lodging itself eight inches into his flesh, he refused to be borne from the field until he knew that Pickett's Charge was repulsed. Hancock would later say, "I was myself wounded, but was enabled to remain on the field until the action was entirely over, when I transferred the command to Brigadier-General Caldwell." [9] The wound would never completely heal and would effect him for the remainder of his life.

Hancock wounding monumentMajor General Hancock would later offer his version of the events of that day. "...this corps sustained its well-earned reputation on many fields, and that the boast of its gallant first commander, the late Maj. Gen. E. V. Sumner, that the Second Corps had "never given to the enemy a gun or color," holds good now as it did under the command of my predecessor, Major-General Couch. To attest to its good conduct and the perils through which it has passed, it may be stated that its losses in battle have been greater than those of any other corps in the Army of the Potomac, or probably in the service, notwithstanding it has usually been numerically weakest." [5]

General Hancock

Gravesite of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock. After serving his country in the American Civil War, Winfield Scott Hancock would continue in the military and eventually run for President of the United States on the Democratic ticket in 1880.

In his personal memoirs, General Ulysses S. Grant would say of Hancock, "Hancock stands the most conspicuous figure of all the general officers who did not exercise a separate command. He commanded a corps longer than any other one, and his name was never mentioned as having committed in battle a blunder for which he was responsible. He was a man of very conspicuous personal appearance. Tall, well-formed and, at the time of which I now write, young and fresh-looking, he presented an appearance that would attract the attention of an army as he passed. His genial disposition made him friends, and his personal courage and his presence with his command in the thickest of the fight won for him the confidence of troops serving under him. No matter how hard the fight, the 2d corps always felt that their commander was looking after them." [46]

General Hancock died February 9, 1886 and is buried in the Montgomery Cemetery in West Norristown, Pennsylvania.