Hancock, Winfield Scott

Life Span
Full name
Winfield Scott Hancock
Place of Birth
Burial Place
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
Free State
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
Benjamin Franklin Hancock (father), Elizabeth Hoxworth (mother), Almira Russell (wife, 1850)
West Point (US Military Academy)
Church or Religious Denomination
US military (Pre-Civil War)
Union Army
US military (Post-Civil War)

Winfield Scott Hancock (American National Biography)

Following his marriage [in 1850], Hancock served at several posts, including Fort Leavenworth, where his regiment calmed disorder in "Bleeding Kansas," and in Utah, where the "Mormon War" ended before the Sixth Infantry arrived. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he ranked as captain and served as chief quartermaster, Southern District of California.

Appointed brigadier general of volunteers as of 23 September 1861, Hancock served in Major General George B. McClellan's (1826-1885) Army of the Potomac. After the battle of Williamsburg (5 May 1862), the first in which Hancock fought, McClellan referred to him as "superb," bestowing a nickname that Hancock retained. At Antietam (17 Sept. 1862), Hancock commanded a division and won promotion to major general. Distinguished service at Chancellorsville (1-4 May 1863), where he conducted a stubborn rearguard action that saved a demoralized Union army from total destruction, advanced Hancock to corps command on the eve of Gettysburg. There he assumed command of the entire army late in the first day of battle before the arrival of Major General George G. Meade and placed Union forces in a strong defensive position on Cemetery Ridge. Hancock's II Corps fought valiantly on all three days (1-3 July). On the second day, Hancock redeemed the blunder of an advance by Major General Daniel Sickles and stabilized the left center before confederates could turn the Union flank. Severely wounded in the thigh on the third day, Hancock refused to leave the field until his troops had repulsed Confederate General George E. Pickett's charge. Gettysburg marked the zenith of Hancock's military career.
John Y. Simon, "Hancock, Winfield Scott," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/05/05-00313.html.
Date Event
Near Williamsburg, Virginia, forty-thousand pursuing Union troops clash with the Confederate rearguard
- The Army of the Potomac concentrates on Chancellorsville in preparation for an attack on Lee
Union and Confederate armies collide near Chancellorsville in Spotsylvania County, Virginia
"Stonewall" Jackson's flanking movement seizes the initiative in the Battle of Chancellorsville
Lee's Army of Northern Virginia forces back entrenched Union forces at the Battle of Chancellorsville
- The beaten Union Army retreats across the Rappahannock, ending the Battle of Chancellorsville
Court martial convicts General Joseph Revere, grandson of the patriot, for his retreat at Chancellorsville
- Battle of Gettysburg
Lee's attack on the Union center ends with the failure of Pickett's Charge
The Battle of the Wilderness opens on ground fought over the year before at Chancellorsville
In Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the Battle of the Wilderness continues for a second bloody day
In Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the Battle of the Wilderness ends and Union maneuvering continues
At Ream's Station in Virginia, Confederate units make a powerful effort to regain the control of the vital Weldon Railroad
The Army board convened to decide on new infantry small arms meets for the first time in Washington.
General W.S. Hancock arrives in force at Fort Larned to negotiate with Kansas native American tribes.
General W.S. Hancock negotiates with Cheyenne and Sioux leaders near Fort Larned, Kansas
General W.S. Hancock burns the large abandoned Cheyenne and Sioux village near Fort Larned, Kansas
General Hancock meets with Kiowa tribal leaders near Fort Dodge, Kansas.
President Johnson relieves Fifth District military governor General Phil Sheridan of his duties.
The Union League of New York City hosts a massive reception for General Philip Sheridan.
Chicago Style Entry Link
Jordan, David M. Winfield Scott Hancock: A Soldier's Life. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988. view record
Tucker, Glenn. Hancock the Superb. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1960. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Hancock, Winfield Scott," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/8961.