(23.) WINFIELD S. HANCOCK (1824-1886)
Democrat Hancock/William English
Defeated by Republican James A. Garfield/Chester A. Arthur, 1880
Having served in the Mexican and Seminole wars with valor, Hancock received command of a brigade in the Army of the Potomac and won distinction at Williamsburg, Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He made a spectacular showing at Gettysburg, stopping the rout and retreat of Union troops and turning it into a victory. He was wounded seriously but was back in command within six months.
President Lincoln said of Hancock, “When I open my mail of a morning, I do so with fear and trembling lest I hear Hancock has been killed or wounded.” Gen. George B. McClellan called him “Superb Hancock,” and Gen. Scott was fond of his namesake too.
Hancock was given charge of an expedition to southern California at a time when that section was much disturbed over slavery, and by his efforts the situation was quieted.
In the Reconstruction period, he was a military commander of Texas and Louisiana. His interest was to restore the people to health, prosperity and self-government quickly. All that he did was well planned and organized and he was trusted and received cooperation.