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Major General Winfield Scott Hancock – Biography – ThoughtCo

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  • Summary: Articles about Major General Winfield Scott Hancock – Biography – ThoughtCo Winfield Scott Hancock and his identical twin, Hilary Baker Hancock, were born February 14, 1824 at Montgomery Square, PA, just northwest of …

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    The next day, with both Union flanks under attack, Hancock dispatched II Corps units to aid in the defense. On July 3, Hancock's position was the focus of Pickett's Charge (Longstreet's Assault). During the artillery bombardment that preceded the Confederate attack, Hancock brazenly rod…

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Winfield Scott Hancock – HISTORY

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  • Summary: Articles about Winfield Scott Hancock – HISTORY Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886) was a U.S. Army officer and politician who served as a Union general during the Civil War (1861-65).

  • Match the search results: Hancock’s first engagement as a field commander came in May 1862 during McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign in Virginia. At the Battle of Williamsburg, Hancock ordered a counterattack that routed Confederate forces and captured a rebel flag. McClellan later praised the performance, earning …

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Winfield Scott Hancock | American Battlefield Trust

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  • Summary: Articles about Winfield Scott Hancock | American Battlefield Trust Biography Civil War Union General Winfield Scott Hancock. … John Reynolds was killed, Meade sent Hancock to command the 1st, 3rd and 11th corps and decide …

  • Match the search results: At Chancellorsville, May 1-3, 1863; Hancock’s division was the last on the field, holding on long enough for the Federals to withdraw. General Darius Couch, commander of the Union Second Corps, had been extremely disgusted with the performance of Gen. “Fighting Joe” Hooker. Couch left the corps and …

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Winfield Scott Hancock

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  • Summary: Articles about Winfield Scott Hancock Related subjects: Historical figures. Winfield Scott Hancock. Portrait of Winfield S. Hancock during the Civil War, by …

  • Match the search results: On July 3, Hancock continued in his position on Cemetery Ridge and thus bore the brunt of Pickett's Charge. During the massive Confederate artillery bombardment that preceded the infantry assault, Hancock was prominent on horseback in reviewing and encouraging his troops. When one of his subor…

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Winfield Scott Hancock | HistoryNet

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  • Summary: Articles about Winfield Scott Hancock | HistoryNet The IX Corps, commanded by Major General John G. Parke, was to launch a surprise attack at the right of the Confederate line, where, it was believed, …

  • Match the search results: Winfield Scott Hancock summary: Winfield Scott Hancock was born on Valentine’s Day of 1824 with his twin brother Hilary Hancock and was the son of Elizabeth Hoxworth Hancock and Benjamin Franklin Hancock. The family had been in Montgomery County for a few generations and they were of Scottish, Engli…

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Winfield Scott Hancock | United States military officer | Britannica

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  • Summary: Articles about Winfield Scott Hancock | United States military officer | Britannica Winfield Scott Hancock, (born Feb. 14, 1824, Montgomery County … See all related content → … James G. Blaine or Secretary of the Treasury John Sherman.

  • Match the search results: A West Point graduate (1844), he served with distinction in the Mexican War (1846–48). Hancock was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers on the outbreak of the Civil War and served in the Peninsular campaign of 1862. In May 1863 he was made head of the II Corps, Army of the Potomac, which he l…

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Facial Hair Friday: General Winfield Scott Hancock – Pieces of …

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  • Summary: Articles about Facial Hair Friday: General Winfield Scott Hancock – Pieces of … As important a figure John Hancock was in our nation’s founding, there was another Hancock who was instrumental in preserving the union. His …

  • Match the search results: When you think of the name Hancock, the image of an ornate signature on the Declaration of Independence probably comes to mind. As important a figure John Hancock was in our nation’s founding, there was another Hancock who was instrumental in preserving the union. His name was General Winfield Scott…

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Winfield Scott Hancock – Essential Civil War Curriculum

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  • Summary: Articles about Winfield Scott Hancock – Essential Civil War Curriculum Leadership is an essential element of command. That statement may seem quite obvious to some and is directly related to the intricacies and machinations of …

  • Match the search results: Hancock, ever the scholar for detail, rode to the battlefield not on horseback, but in an army ambulance, allowing him to review topographic maps of the site. Upon arrival, he met Major General Oliver Otis Howard who was technically senior to Hancock and reiterated that fact emphatically. Hancock co…

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General Winfield Scott Hancock Statue – NYC Parks

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  • Summary: Articles about General Winfield Scott Hancock Statue – NYC Parks Due to the effects of his Gettysburg wound, though, he relinquished his command of the Second Army Corps in June 1864. He was assigned several other command …

  • Match the search results: During the Civil War, Hancock proved to be an outstanding leader. His performance at the battle of Williamsburg (1862) earned him the nickname “Hancock the Superb” and resulted in his promotion to Major-General of Volunteers. He commanded the first division of the Second Army Corps at …

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Winfield Scott Hancock : Family tree by Tim DOWLING (tdowling)

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  • Summary: Articles about Winfield Scott Hancock : Family tree by Tim DOWLING (tdowling) Discover the family tree of Winfield Scott Hancock for free, … John Hancock 1829- … Linked to: Timothy Michael Dowling, 18th cousin 3x removed.

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Winfield Scott Hancock – New World Encyclopedia

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  • Summary: Articles about Winfield Scott Hancock – New World Encyclopedia Hancock’s most famous service was as a new corps commander at the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1 to July 3, 1863. After his friend, Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds, …

  • Match the search results: Hancock’s name had been proposed several times for the Democratic nomination for president, but he never captured a majority of delegates. In 1880, however, Hancock’s chances improved. President Hayes had promised not to run for a second term, and the previous Democratic nominee, Tilden, declined to…

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Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886) – WikiTree

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  • Summary: Articles about Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886) – WikiTree Is this your ancestor? Compare DNA and explore genealogy for Winfield Hancock born 1824 Montgomeryville, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, …

  • Match the search results: Upon he and Allie’s arrival in Washington, D.C., Win was directed to General George McClellan’s headquarters. McClellan remembered Hancock from the Mexican War and immediately changed his orders. Win would become a brigade commander with the rank of Brigadier General! This started his ascent in the …

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Hancock’s “Well-done Sauce”

By Bruce Trinque

With the stubborn army of Robert E. Lee of Northern Virginia
Ulysses S. Grant clung to Petersburg and decided to cut
important rail routes. To perform the operation, he chose one of the
proven heroes of the north – “Hancock the Superb.”

General Ulysses S. Grant had been hammering and probing the defenses of Petersburg, Virginia, for the last four months since the end of the Bloody Land Operation, which brought the Confederate Army of the Potomac to its death from the tangled forests of Wilderness and Spotsylvania fields from Cold Harbor. Then, in mid-June 1864, Grant escaped in a clever maneuver to cross the James River and attack Petersburg, thereby crossing the vital supply lines that kept the Army of Northern Virginia alive, General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate capital of Richmond.

Unaccustomed to the advantage of surprise, the weary Union soldiers of the Army of the Potomac and their comrades of the Army of James were unable to breach the city’s defenses with swift attacks. Only once, in late July, when a massive mine was detonated under a Confederate bunker, did Grant attempt to breach the Petersburg line directly. But the subsequent Confederate attack was badly destroyed and the Battle of the Crater ended in a crushing Confederate return.

However, Grant repeatedly sent troops south and west to try to break through the Confederate right flank and capture important rebel food and ammunition routes and railroads. Each time, the Army of Northern Virginia struck at the probing Confederate columns, stopping them before they could reach their objective. However, each failed attempt stretched the Confederate defenses thinner and thinner, and gradually the supply lines were severed. Now that autumn had left Virginia behind, only the Southside Railroad and the Boydton Railroad west of Petersburg remained safe in Confederate hands.

In late October, Grant urged Major General George Meade, field commander of the Army of the Potomac, to form a “foreign movement” to take over the Southside Railroad. Success there would essentially force Lee to abandon Petersburg and Richmond, and would provide added impetus to Abraham Lincoln’s re-election campaign in early November, which unfolded after Major General William Tecumseh Sherman’s conquest of Atlanta and Major General Philip H. Sheridan’s victory unfolded at Cedar Creek in the Shenan-doah Valley.

Meade quickly carried out his plan. The IX Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. John G. Parke, launched a surprise attack to the right of the Confederate front lines, where the defensive lines were believed to be incomplete and poorly manned. These field works are said to extend southwest to Hatcher’s Run, a long creek running primarily northwest-southeast, crossed at some points by forts or bridges. Major General Governor Kemble Warren will move his V Corps at the same time as Parke. If the IX. Corps broke through the Confederate line as expected, Warren would immediately move back on the enemy. If Parke’s attack was unsuccessful, V Corps would cross Hatcher’s Run and then continue westward before returning across the Boydton Plank Road to attack east and advance behind the defending Confederate army.

In both cases the main attack on the Southside Railroad was in the hands of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, who would have two divisions of his own II Corps and a cavalry division led by Brigadier General David M. Gregg Huy. Meade’s plan was for Hancock to cross Hatcher’s Run at the Vaughan Road junction, then advance a few miles west, and finally cross Hatcher’s Run to capture the railroad. Additionally, Major General Benjamin Butler would send troops north of the James River to prevent Lee from sending reinforcements to Petersburg.

The Confederate Commander-in-Chief’s idea of ​​the local geography was wrong, as most of their information on Confederate defenses near Hatcher’s Run came from enemy deserters. Much of the terrain that Parke, Warren, and Hancock will attack is heavily forested and criss-crossed by narrow paths unsuitable for fast travel. The terrain was worse than the infamous wilderness where Grant and Lee first met in combat in early May.

Hancock, named after America’s leading military hero of the first half of the 19th century (Winfield Scott, born near Petersburg in 1786), is worthy of his famous zeal “Hancock the Superb”. He has repeatedly demonstrated his bravery and cold determination in battle, winning the admiration of both his soldiers and superiors. He rose quickly from brigade through division to corps commander and was considered a possible successor to Meade as head of the Army of the Potomac.

Previously, during Grant’s campaign against Lee, Hancock and his famous II Corps were repeatedly called upon to engage in the worst of battles. The loss was terrible. At the beginning of May 1864, the II Corps numbered 30,000 officers and men. Since then, casualties have totaled 26,000 people killed, injured or missing. Reinforcements poured in to cover some of the damage, but damage to II Corps could not be measured in numbers. The new men in the ranks were mostly inexperienced, and many were bonus or second-in-commands distrusted by living combat veterans. One of Hancock’s divisional commanders wrote: “The bravest, most effective officers and men are those who have fallen; it’s always like that. ”

On the Jerusalem Plank Road in late June, a surprise Confederate flank attack on Hancock’s corps resulted in the capture of more than 1,700 men without a fight. Two months later, Hancock was again attacked in an inappropriately positioned position at Reams’ station while attempting to destroy the Weldon Railroad. One division had fallen to the Confederate attack and another, crouched behind their battlefields, refused to counterattack to retake the lost trenches. Horrified and embarrassed by her men’s behavior, Hancock told a staffer, “I don’t want to die, but I pray that God will never leave this field.” More than 2,000 II Corps soldiers were taken prisoner. At the behest of their divisional commanders, and with the approval of Hancock and Meade, the three regiments that had lost their ensigns—the 8th New York Heavy Artillery, the 164th New York Infantry, and the 36th Wisconsin Regiment—had submitted to the markings last public sign of humiliation for a Civil War unit: they were forbidden to wear the color until later conduct in combat would regain the right.

If Hancock had fears for his commander’s safety during the planned maneuver against the Southside Railroad, he only expressed it when he asked for a change in the makeup of his force. Meade had ordered his 3rd Division, commanded by Brigadier General Gershom Mott, to be left behind to maneuver the lines in front of Petersburg. Hancock asked Mott to come with him and hold Maj. Gen. Nelson A. Miles’ 1st Division in the trenches. This second unit, he explained, had “a very large proportion of draft and novice and less experienced junior officers” and that Mott’s division “would probably be more effective in that area.” Meade immediately accepted Hancock’s request.

Before dawn on October 25, Mott’s 3rd and 2nd Divisions, commanded by Brigadier General Thomas W. Egan, quietly withdrew from the trenches. The next day they marched to a point on the Weldon Railroad, ready to head to Hatcher’s Run and the Southside Railroad early in the morning. Meanwhile, Gregg’s V and IX Corps and Cavalry Division were also preparing to move. All troops carry four-day rations and 60 rounds of ammunition; Another 40 shots were transported in ammunition wagons. To limit congestion on the narrow forest roads, there will be no baggage or headquarters trucks and only half the full ambulances.

At 3:30 a.m. on 27 October, about two hours before dawn, Hancock’s two infantry divisions sailed towards Vaughan Road and Hatcher’s Run. At the same time Parkes IX advanced. Corps toward the entrenched Confederate line. Warren and V Corps moved in half an hour later to provide support.

Parke’s troops quickly lost their element of surprise when the accidental firing of muskets alerted a Confederate outpost. The rebel line of engagement was soon encountered and pushed back into the field area covering the Boydton Plank Road. Although Meade had expected the IX. Corps would move and attack vigorously, Parke had now ordered “carefully reconnoitring the enemy’s lines of activity, with the aim of finding a weak point which I could attack with a reasonable chance of success”. No weakness was found and Parke was content to widen his line to establish connections on the flanks before entrenching.

Warren also finds progress difficult. At first he didn’t want to move before sunrise, but a sharp telegram from Meade demanded that he leave at 4 a.m. In the dark and it began to rain, parts of the commando quickly became confused and out of line. Only when it was light enough to be seen did the V Corps column begin to move past their entrenched positions and into the forest. The obstacles placed on the road by the Confederates further delayed the advance. In an attempt to stay on track, Warren meticulously carved a new path through half a mile of forest. Brigadier General Charles Griffin launched engagements and advanced with a brigade of his division into the woods east of Hatcher’s Run until they encountered a solid Confederate line.

Arriving on the scene around 9 a.m., Grant and Meade found that neither Parke nor Warren would be able to break through the entrenched Confederate forces with the direct thrust they had anticipated. Meade has now ordered Warren to create a backup plan and send part of his command west via Hatcher’s Run to link up with Hancock. At the same time, Warren instructed Brigadier General Samuel W. Crawford to send his V Corps division past Armstrong’s Mill and follow the upstream bank until he could retreat and capture the Confederate line from the side.

Although Hancock was also delayed by road obstacles, his lead unit, Egan’s Team 2, was able to close Vaughan Road fast enough to reach the fort via Hatcher’s Run just after daylight. A small Confederate field survey down the far side of the run secured the runway, which was difficult to access due to fallen trees in waist-deep water. Confederate skirmishers attempted to advance to Confederate positions but were stopped by fire from a dismounted Georgian cavalry team. Egan hastily deployed Brigadier General Thomas A. Smyth’s 3rd Brigade in a line and splashed them across Hatcher’s Run, capturing Confederate rifle holes and taking several prisoners. To the delight of the New Jersey men, Number 12, who waded through the frigid water, their standard-bearers were able to run across the dried-up creek by running along one of the trees. The black sergeant stood atop the rebel artillery and waved a flag to urge the remaining members of the regiment to hurry. Egan carried the remainder of the division and pushed further south along the Vaughan Road.

Gregg’s cavalry division, responsible for defending Hancock’s left flank, continued to cross downstream. After eliminating a small defending force of South Carolina cavalry, Gregg advanced west to Quaker Road, which he expected to follow north to Boydton Plank Road and a proposed intersection with Hancock’s infantry. However, along the way, Gregg caught enemy couriers and learned that he was in a dangerous situation. In front of him was the cavalry division of Maj. Gen. Matthew C. Butler and to his left was the cavalry division of Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, grandson of Robert E. Lee. Major General Wade Hampton, commander of the Northern Virginia Cavalry Corps, was determined to stop Gregg along the Quaker Road at the bridge over Gravelly Run and then to trap Union Cavalry Headquarters between Butler and Lee’s divisions.

Back on Vaughan Road, Mott’s 3rd Division followed Egan through Hatcher’s Run. Hancock then turned her pole west and drove along a narrow lane past Dabney’s Mill towards Boydton Plank Road. The II Corps commander began to feel uneasy at not hearing gunfire from Parkes’ planned attack on the Confederate line. Gunfire could only be heard from Hancock’s left, where Gregg had encountered Hampton. Hancock hoped he could reach Plank Road in time to engage the Union cavalry, but as Hancock closed in, Hampton moved his troops off Quaker Road to a new barricade on White Oak Road, the Confederate general’s intended route. Gregg was relieved when he suddenly saw Quaker Street in front of him. He crossed Gravelly Run and burned the bridge to slow any pursuit by Fitzhugh Lee.

When Egan’s division appeared in the clearings along Boydton Plank Road at about 10:30 am, his engagements were quickly stopped by Union rifle and cannon fire. A Confederate battery soon silenced the enemy guns on the rise at Burgess Tavern near the junction of White Oak and Boydton Plank Roads. Led by Hancock, Egan deployed his two brigades in a northbound line. Lt. Col. Horace P. Rugg’s 1st Brigade was west of the Plank Road, while Colonel James M. Willett’s 2nd Brigade was to the east. Egan then brought in Smyth’s 3rd Brigade to help Willett, who was given orders to attack and capture the hilltop at Burgess Tavern.

Willett attacked the New York Regiment’s brigade in battle formation, driving the enemy through a belt of forest and across a ravine. Willett quickly reformed his formation on the other side of the ravine, attacking the high ground beyond and capturing Confederate positions along a barricade on the Boydton Plank Road. Egan wittily remarked, “This fence was erected at a tollbooth, but Virginia highway codes were not followed.”

Willett paused, formed a line, and threw armor to protect himself from a possible counterattack. Egan quickly moved his other two brigades to join Willett’s lines on the flanks. Rugg’s regiments were lined up on the White Oak Road—which Hancock still intended to march west to cross Hatcher’s Run two miles upstream—while Smyth faced north toward the Boydton Plank Road bridge. The Plank Road passes through Hatcher’s Run near Burgess Mill where a dam stops the stream to form a pond.

By this time Gregg’s cavalry had joined Hancock from the south. Hancock confidently began to prepare for the advance. Mott’s division was begun to advance towards White Oak Road, while Colonel Michael Kerwin’s cavalry brigade was sent to take over Egan’s position so that the 2nd Division could follow Mott.

Before the infantry could move, however, word arrived from Meade at about 1 p.m. Hancock stopped on Plank Road. Soon after, Meade and Grant took the field. Meade directed Hancock to extend his authority east to make contact with Crawford’s division, which was slowly advancing northwest through the thick woods along Hatcher’s Run.

The Confederates, having cut down the cavalry and guns Willett had driven from the high ground at Burgess Tavern, retreated a few hundred yards towards the factory causeway, but failed to cross the run. From their new position, they continued to fire Egan’s men. Smyth’s brigade was ordered to attack the rebels’ new position. As they began their attack, Captain Timothy J. Burke of the 164th New York Division – one of three regiments stripped of the right to transport tanks behind the reactor station – mistakenly thought the entire division was moving forward. He led 10 New York men along the left side of Smyth’s line as she swept across the open field.

A Confederate bullet pierced the backpack of Black Sergeant John Hirst, 14th Connecticut, and the sudden unbalanced weight of the package almost knocked him to the ground. His teammates thought Hirst had been hit and grabbed his flag. “But I’m fine,” he wrote to his family after the battle, “and if they don’t get close, I will be.”

Smyth’s men cleared the enemy gun pits on the south bank of the barrel. The Confederates ran across the bridge, up the hill, and into the trees across the creek. Burke charged his small formation of the disgraced 164 in New York into the woods near the track, advanced behind a Confederate earthwork, and captured a 12-pounder gun and rifle. Unable to move the shrapnel, Burke broke the cannon’s axis and threw the cannon down Hatcher’s Run. Burke then hauled the caisson and happily reported his exploits to General Egan.

Egan sent Willett’s brigade to report to Smyth at his new position overlooking the Boydton Plank Road bridge. Smyth deployed two regiments, 12 New Jersey and 10 New York, under Hancock’s direction, as an extension unit to the right, hoping to link up with Crawford’s division in the woods to the east. Although the men stretched out for a period of 10 paces, Crawford was not in sight. Still concerned about the gap on his right flank, Smyth sent a small group of scouts in a last-ditch effort to locate Crawford’s line.

Confederate forces quickly rally to confront Hancock. South of Hatcher’s Run, Hampton deployed Butler’s multiple-gun cavalry division across White Oak Road and brought Fitzhugh Lee’s division up along Boydton Road. North of the run, Maj. Gen. Henry Heth had assembled his own infantry division and that of Maj. Gen. William Mahone, the Confederate hero of the Battle of Crater three months earlier. The guns digging above the tracks blew up Egan’s path.

Grant, Meade, and Hancock joined their agents for a closer look. They arrived under heavy artillery fire. Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Lyman, one of Meade’s aides, wrote a note later that day about the dangerously defiant calm of the assembled officers. “Don’t be afraid of Hancock Staff,” wrote the Colonel. “They will never forgive you.”

Grant galloped down the Boydton Plank Road bridge with his own camp assistant to see the rebel defenses with his own eyes. When he returned, he said he had decided to suspend further attempts to capture the Southside Railroad that day. The entrenched Confederate forces, stretching farther west than anyone expected, were too strong to attack with any guarantee of success. With no chance of a quick and easy victory ahead of the presidential election, Grant wanted to avoid embarrassing setbacks. The best that could be hoped for now was a bloody and unsuccessful Confederate counterattack against II Corps. Hancock was ordered to hold his position that night and to withdraw the next morning. Grant and Meade leave to return to their headquarters.

Hancock positioned his forces in a rough oval, with the long axis along the Boydton Plank Line. The north end of the oval at Hatcher’s Run near the Burgess Tavern is held by Egan’s division. Colonel Robert McAllister’s brigade from Mott’s 3rd Division was sent to reinforce Egan, who had placed McAllister in the second line behind Smyth. On the western edge of the oval are Brigadier General Regis de Trobriand’s Brigade and Kerwin’s Cavalry Brigade. The remains of Gregg’s cavalry division stretched across the Boydton Plank Road and faced south. Mott’s last brigade, commanded by Brig. Gen. Gen. Byron R. Pierce, stationed on the east edge of the oval, faced north.

Late in the afternoon, Hancock decided to improve his position by capturing the high ground north of the track. Smyth sent skirmishers from Connecticut 14 across the creek east of Boydton Plank Road to gain a foothold on the north bank and prepare for an attack on the bridge. Meanwhile, the 10th Small Scout Troop from New York, previously sent east by Smyth, had returned. Crawford’s division was nowhere in sight, but a column of Confederate infantry was moving through the woods to the rear of the Confederate line. Smyth immediately reported this to Egan, who ordered McAllister to switch his front to his back. McAllister didn’t waste time on complicated operations. He ordered his men to just turn around and then march to the cliff behind Egan’s line.

Reports of Confederate activity in the east also reached Pierce’s brigade, but Pierce dismissed them, believing the rebels there were mere vagrants due to the Crawford advance. However, Mott instructed Pierce to reinforce his squad heading towards the jungle. The noise of the shot increases sharply. Pierce ordered a change of front for his main line and turned his attention to the woods, where the threat was now clearly more than a few crooks. Before this could be completed, however, a strong Confederate force broke through the forest, overlapping the Confederate battle line on either end and driving them back.

The assault force, two full brigades under Mahone’s command, attacked Pierce’s main line from the right and rear, capturing two guns and throwing the Union brigade into a confused retreat towards the Road Plank. Upon hearing of Mahone’s attack, they launched their own attacks, pre-arranging Confederate forces around the Confederate position. Heth approached Egan’s lines along Hatcher’s Run with three brigades of infantry and cavalry. The 12th New Jersey was simultaneously attacked by Heth in front and Mahone in rear. Hampton sent Butler’s division east while Fitzhugh Lee charged the Plank Boydton Road against Gregg’s cavalry. The second reactor appears to be in production.

Butler’s attack stalled under heavy Confederate fire. Two of Hampton’s sons served on their father’s staff. One was shot, dying within minutes, his father by his side. Almost immediately, Hampton’s other son was mortally wounded. Lee’s charge along the Plank Road made slow progress and was stubbornly held off by Gregg’s dismounted cavalry. Heth’s attack on Hatcher’s Run was quickly repelled; Smyth later commended the 8th New York Heavy Artillery and 164th New York Army, two of which were banned from carrying the flag.

Mahone’s early success proved a trap. The uncompromising Virginian drove forward quickly, only to find himself with Union troops arrayed against him on three fronts. Hancock massed his troops along the Boydton Plank Road to stop Mahone’s advance. McAllister’s brigade, supported by some of Smyth’s men, charged north from the high ground into the Confederate right flank, while de Trobriand’s brigade faced and charged Mahone’s front across the Plank Road.

Hancock took the lead alone. Even part of Gregg’s cavalry division counterattacked on the left flank of the rebels. Along Boydton Plank Road, one of Hancock’s staff officers led Wisconsin 36—the Third Regiment had fallen out of favor and was flagless—taking more prisoners than the regiment had men. They were very satisfied, they also received an alliance warrior. Mahone’s force collapsed under several attacks and fled into the forest, taking several hundred prisoners. The victorious Confederate soldiers had recovered their two guns just minutes earlier.

With Mahone’s attack crushed and repelled decisively, Hancock sent reinforcements to Gregg. As darkness fell, Lee gave up the fight and retreated, ending the Battle of Boydton Plank Road. The II Corps narrowly escaped the disaster.

Meade had texted Hancock in the early evening hours that two IV Corps divisions had been ordered to join him and that if Hancock wished he could extend the attack south on the Confederate lines in the morning. If Hancock thought it best not to attack, he was free to withdraw his forces at any time.

Hancock the Superb thought only briefly before advising Meade: “I have to say if I had two new divisions and ammunition for my own commander I would attack tomorrow morning but I think the possibility of those being here an hour early . Uncertainty and significant risk. I think circumstances suggest going back is the way to go. I keep the roads between me and the 5th Corps, and if there is an accident that prevents me from getting ammo and troops sooner, the result will be disaster, for the enemy cornered me and attacked me . . So [I] would withdraw instead of taking responsibility for the disaster. At the same time, I also regret that I have successfully defended myself so far.”

During the night, II Corps retreated along the road above Dabney’s Mill while Gregg’s cavalry retreated on their own route to the battlefield, slowed by the destruction of the bridge over Quaker Road. Due to confusion in the dark and due to mismanagement by some officers, the entire Confederate chopping force was not withdrawn. Unfortunately, the ambulances available could not transport all of the injured and more than 250 people were being cared for by volunteer surgeons.

The Army of the Potomac lost more than 1,750 men in Robert E. Lee’s right flank attempt, including about 1,000 men of II Corps. Confederate casualties exceeded 1,300, a number roughly in line with usual Confederate casualties during the Petersburg campaign. Hancock’s retreat left the Boydton Line in Confederate hands, but the Army of Northern Virginia was again forced to extend the line west to prevent another attack on the Southside Railroad.

Hancock referred to the fight at Hatcher’s Run as “my victory” and wrote to a friend, “We had a tough fight but defeated the enemy.” Grant cabled Secretary of War Edwin Stanton that the action “proved a decisive success”. However, the battlefield evidence—hundreds of wounded left in Confederate hands—pointed to little less than a complete victory. Lee’s goal of cutting off the ultimate supply routes remains unattainable. However, Hancock’s men held their ground, and the battle did not repeat the previous humiliations on the Jerusalem Boardwalk and reactor station. All the defeats were the fault of the commanding generals who planned to march along roads that were too narrow and distances too long, not the soldiers who had fought so hard and so well.

Certainly the soldiers of the 36th Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, 164th New York Heavy Artillery and 8th New York Heavy Artillery had no doubts about their performance. All three regiments were specifically mentioned in reports after the battle, and most importantly their right to fly the regimental flag. Perhaps the best assessment of the Boydton Road affair comes from Colonel Lyman, one of Meade’s aides: “As my [cetter] was called a poor match, this attempt might be called a well-conducted match.”*

Connecticut-based author Bruce Minnque writes regularly about the Civil War in the East. He suggests further reading: Noah Andre TrudeausLast citadel: Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864-April 1865; or David M. JordansWinfield Scott Hancock: A Soldier’s Life.

Video tutorials about is winfield scott hancock related to john hancock

keywords: #CivilWar, #USCivilWar, #JamesA.Garfield, #WinfieldScottHancock, #Gettysburg

Todd Arrington (site manager at James A. Garfield National Historic Site) talks about the life and accomplishments of General Winfield Scott Hancock, including:

• why he’s considered the greatest of the Union’s corps commanders

• his friendship with Confederate General Lewis Armistead

• why Hancock is particularly pertinent to President James A. Garfield.

For information on upcoming Civil War talks, visit www.mentorpl.org.

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Winfield Scott Hancock was a career U.S.Army officer and the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 1880.He served with distinction in the Army for four decades, including service in the Mexican-American War and as a Union general in the American Civil War.Known to his Army colleagues as “Hancock the Superb”, he was noted in particular for his personal leadership at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

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This is a compilation of all the parts of the Winfield Scott Hancock series dealing with the Civil War itself. From leaving California to overseeing the execution of the Lincoln Conspirators, Hancock was heavily involved in many aspects and moments of the Civil War.

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