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Beautifully framed W. S. Hancock autograph display
W. S. Hancock autograph display. Period engraving, cdv and clipped signature of this famous union general. Measures 12.5" x 16" and is in fine condition. Professionally matted and framed. Shipping will be $19.99 due to size.


Hancock, Winfield S., major-general, was born at Montgomery Square, Pa., Feb. 14, 1824, and was sent in early boyhood to Norristown academy. There he first began to display his military tastes by continually marching and countermarching with his playmates, among whom he organized a military company, of which he was chosen captain. In his fifteenth year the boy received a marked expression of public esteem, in being appointed to read in public at Norristown the Declaration of Independence. In 1840, at the age of sixteen, he entered the West Point military academy, as a member of a class that graduated twenty-five, among whom were Gens. U. S. Grant, George B. McClellan, William B. Franklin, William F. Smith, Joseph J. Reynolds, Rosecrans, Lyon, and others of the Federal army, and Longstreet, Pickett, E. K. Smith, and "Stonewall" Jackson of the Confederate army. Hancock was graduated on June 30, 1844, and was brevetted second lieutenant of the 6th infantry July 1. He was afterward sent to join his company in the Indian country, near the Red river, on the border of Texas, and in this rough but exhilarating duty he remained until 1846, when he was commissioned second lieutenant in a company stationed on the frontier of Mexico, where he remained until the outbreak of the Mexican war. His first active service in that conflict was at the National bridge, on the way from Vera Cruz to Puebla, where he was in command of a storming party, and captured the bridge and a strong barricade. He was brevetted first lieutenant "for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco in the war with Mexico." Between 1848 and 1855 he served as regimental quartermaster and adjutant on the upper Missouri, being ordered to Fort Snelling, Minn., in 1849. In 1855 Lieut. Hancock was appointed quartermaster with The rank of captain, and ordered to Florida, where the Seminole war was going on, and where, under Gen. Harney he performed difficult and arduous service. Next occurred the disorders in Kansas, and he was ordered to Fort Leavenworth, and after the Kansas troubles were over he accompanied Gen. Harney's expedition to Utah. Following the Utah outbreak, he was ordered to join his regiment, the 6th infantry, at Fort Bridger, and made the trip with sixteen soldiers, a distance of 709 miles, in twenty-seven days with a train of wagons. He was next ordered to Benicia, Cal., and the entire journey which he made from Fort Leavenworth to that station, 2,100 miles, was performed by Capt. Hancock on horseback. Later he was stationed at Los Angeles, Cal., where he was when the Civil war broke out, with a depot of military stores under his control, which he succeeded in holding until the arrival of reinforcements. He was then ordered to the east, reaching New York Sept. 4, 1861, when he reported at Washington for service. He was at once commissioned brigadier-general and placed in charge of a brigade, consisting of the 5th Wis., the 6th Me., the 48th Pa., and the 4th N. Y. infantry. In the spring of 1862, the division of which his brigade was a part was assigned to the 4th army corps and had its first serious conflict with the enemy at Lee's mill on April 16. He saw sharp fighting at Williamsburg and Frazier's farm and in the Maryland campaign. At the battles of South mountain and Antietam he commanded the 1st division of the 2nd army corps, which fought brilliantly during the second day of the battle of Antietam. In the battle of Fredericksburg he again commanded the same division in the magnificent attempt to storm Marye's heights, Dec. 13, 1862, when he led his men through such a fire as has rarely been encountered in warfare. The following spring Hancock's division fought at Chancellorsville, and on June 25, he was ordered by the president to assume command of the 2nd army corps. In the fight of July 3, at Gettysburg, he commanded the left center, the main point assailed by the Confederates, and was shot from his horse, being dangerously wounded, but remained on the field until he saw that the enemy's attack had been repulsed by his corps. For his services in this campaign Gen. Hancock received, on April 2l, 1866, a resolution of thanks passed by Congress. His wound kept him from active duty until March, 1864, when he resumed command in the spring campaign of that year, and fought in the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania, also at the second battle of Cold Harbor and in the assault on the lines in front of Petersburg. On Aug. 12, 1864, he was appointed brigadier-general in the regular army "for gallant and distinguished services in the battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, and Cold Harbor, and in the operations of the army in Virginia under Lieut.-Gen. Grant." In the movement against the South side railroad in October of that year Gen. Hancock took a leading part. On Nov. 26, he was called to Washington to organize a veteran corps of 50,000 men, and continued in the discharge of that duty until Feb. 26, 1865, when he was assigned to the command of the military division and ordered to Winchester, Va. After the assassination of President Lincoln, Gen. Hancock's headquarters were transferred to Washington, and he was placed in command of the defence of the capital. On July 26, 1866, he was appointed major-general of the regular army, and on the 1Oth of the following month assigned to the command of the Department of the Missouri. Here he fought the Indians until relieved by Gen. Sheridan, when he was placed in command of the fifth military district, comprising Texas and Louisiana. In 1868, he was given command of the division of the Atlantic, with headquarters in New York city. The following year he was sent to the Department of Dakota, but in 1872, was again assigned to the division of the Atlantic, in which command he remained until the time of his death. In 1868, and in 1872, Gen. Hancock was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, and in 1880, was nominated by the Democratic convention at Cincinnati. The election in November, however, gave the opposing candidate, James A. Garfield, a majority in the electoral college. More than any other officer on either side, perhaps, he was the embodiment of chivalry and devotion to the highest duties of the soldier. Gen. Grant, best qualified to judge, said of him: "Hancock stands the most conspicuous figure of all the general officers who did not exercise a general 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 presence with his command in the thickest of the fight won him the confidence of troops who served under him." He died at Governor's island, New York harbor, Feb. 9, 1886.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 8