Winfield Scott Hancock, an American soldier, born in Montgomery co., Pa., Feb. 14, 1824. He graduated at West Point in 1844, served mainly on frontier duty till 1846, and afterward in the war with Mexico. He was brevet-ted as first lieutenant for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco. From 1848 to 1858 he was again on frontier duty in various parts, and from 1859 to 1861 was quartermaster of the southern district of California. At the breaking out of the civil war he was recalled to Washington, and was made brigadier general of volunteers, Sept. 23, 1861. During the peninsular campaign he was especially conspicuous at the battles of Williamsburg and Frazer's Farm. He took an active part in the subsequent campaign in Maryland, at the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. Having been made major general, he commanded a division at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. On July 1, 1863, the first day of the battle of Gettysburg, he was sent by Gen. Meade to decide whether a decisive battle should be given there, or whether the army should fall back.
He reported that Gettysburg was the place to fight, and took immediate command until the arrival of Meade. In the decisive action of July 3 he commanded on the left centre, which was the main point assailed by the confederates, and was severely wounded. For his conduct at Gettysburg he received (May 30, 1866) the thanks of congress. Having been disabled by his wound, he was on sick leave until March, 1864, being meanwhile engaged in recruiting the second army corps, which was placed under his command. He took the active command of this corps at the opening of the campaign of 1864, and bore a prominent part in the battles of the Wilderness (May 5, 6), Spottsylvania Court House (May 9-20), and North Anna (May 23, 24), the second battle of Cold Harbor (June 3), and the operations around Petersburg until June 19, when, his wound breaking out, he was for a short time on sick leave. He afterward resumed command, and took part in several actions until Nov. 26, when he was called to Washington to organize the first corps of veterans.
After the close of the war he was placed succes-sively in command of the middle department (1865-6), the department of Missouri (1866-'7), of Louisiana and Texas (1867-'8), of Dakota (1870-'72), and, on the death of Gen. Meade in November, 1872, of the department of the East. In the democratic national convention held at New York in July, 1868, he was a candidate for the presidential nomination, receiving on the 1st ballot 33 1/2 votes out of 317, which number gradually increased to 144 1/2 on the 18th; this being, with the exception of 145 1/2 cast for Pendleton on the 12th ballot, the greatest number of votes given to any candidate for the nomination until the 22d ballot, when Horatio Seymour received the unanimous vote of the convention.