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Major-General Winfield S. Hancock, U.S.A.

Major-General Winfield S. Hancock was born in Pennsylvania, and graduated from the U. S. Military Academy July 1, 1844 He was assigned to the Sixth Infantry as brevet second lieutenant July 1, 1844, and served on frontier duty at Fort Towson, Indian Territory, 1844-4, and at Fort Washington, Indian Territory, 1845-47. Promoted second lieutenant Sixth Infantry July 1, 1846. He participated in the war with Mexico, 1847-48, being engaged with the defense of convoy at the National Bridge August 12, 1847; the skirmish at Place del Rio August 15, 1847; the capture of San Antonio August 20, 1847; the battle of Churubusco August 20, 1847; the battle of Molino del Rey September 8, 1847, and the assault and capture of the City of Mexico September 13-14, 1847.

He was brevetted first lieutenant, August 20, 1847, for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, Mexico. He was promoted first lieutenant Sixth Infantry January 27, 1853, and from June 19 to November 27, 1855, he was on duty at headquarters Department of the West. He was appointed captain and assistant quartermaster November 7, 1855, and was with troops at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, quelling the Kansas disturbances in 1857; was with the head-quarters of the Utah reinforcements in 1858, and with the Sixth Infantry on the march from Fort Bridger, Utah, to California, the same year.

He was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers September 23, 1861, and served during the war of the Rebellion, participating in the defense of Washington, D. C., and in the Virginia Peninsular campaign, Army of the Potomac; being engaged in the siege of Yorktown; in the battles of Williamsburg, Chickahominy, Golding's Farm, Savage Station, and White Oak Swamp. He conducted the retreat to Harrison's Landing July 1-4, and the movement to Centreville, Virginia, August to September, 1862. Was in the Maryland campaign, Army of the Potomac, being engaged in the battles of Crampton's Pass, South Mountain, and Antietam. He conducted the reconnaissance's from Harper's Ferry to Charleston, Virginia, October 10-11, and the march to Falmouth, Virginia, October to November, 1862.

He was appointed major-general of U. S. Volunteers November 29, 1862. During the Rappahannock campaign he was engaged in the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and in the Pennsylvania campaign was in command of Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac, being engaged in the battle of Gettysburg, where he was severely wounded in the repulse of Longstreet's attack upon the left centre, which he commanded.

The thanks of Congress were tendered him May 30, 1866, " for his gallant, meritorious, and conspicuous share in the great and decisive victory."

He was promoted major and quartermaster U. S. Army November 30, 1863. Commanded and recruited Second Army Corps, January to March, 1864, and participated in the Richmond campaign, commanding Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac, being engaged in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor, and operations in its vicinity; and the battle before Petersburg June 16-18, 1864.

During the operations in the vicinity of Petersburg, he was in command of the Second Corps Army of the Potomac, and engaged in the battles of Deep Bottom, Ream's Station, Boydton Plank Road, and the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, June 15 to Nov. 26, 1864. He was promoted brigadier-general U. S. Army August 12, 1864.

From November 27, 1864, to February 27, 1865, he was at Washington, D. C., organizing the First Army Corps of Veterans, and from February 27 to July 18, 1865, he was in command of Department of West Virginia, and temporarily of the Middle Division and Army of the Shenandoah.

He was brevetted major-general U. S. Army November 13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Spottsylvania, Virginia. He was in command of the Middle Department from July 18, 1865, to August 10, 1866, and of the Department of Missouri from August 20, 1866. During part of 1867 he was engaged in an expedition against the Indians on the Plains.

General Hancock commanded also for many years the Department of the East, and was a candidate for the Presidency of the United States in 1880. He died February 9, 1886.

Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893, 419 pgs.

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