PRE-1888 PHOTOGRAPH OF THE LOCATION OF HANCOCK’S WOUNDING

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Item Code: 2022-420

General Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886) was wounded during the repulse of Pickett’s Charge. An 1844 graduate of West Point, Commanding the Second Corps during the Gettysburg Campaign, Hancock was ordered forward by Meade to assume command of all Union troops at Gettysburg on July 1 after the death of General Reynolds and was largely responsible for determining that the army would make a stand at the town. On July 2 he returned to command of his own corps, sending reinforcements to the right and left of the Union line, and repelling a strong attack on the center of the line, in the same area shown by the photograph.

The view is taken from about the location of the present Hancock Avenue, along the Union lines looking toward the ground over which Confederates advanced on both July 2 and July 3. The buildings of the Codori Farm, along the Emmitsburg Road, are visible in the distance at right. On July 2, after the collapse of the 3rd Corps line, the Second Corps troops of Harrow’s Brigade fought on either side of the farm against Wright’s advancing Confederates. Hancock’s men were initially forced back, but recovered Union artillery that had been captured and stabilized the line. On July 3 Pickett’s charge moved around and past the farm as well. Largely by Hancock’s efforts, this too was repulsed, though Hancock himself was seriously wounded in the fighting. A sign posted in the middle of the photo, next to a wire fence and in front of two large rocks indicates the spot. The location is now marked by a short stone column positioned just in front of the two large rocks in the photograph, pretty much where the wooden sign is. That monument was dedicated in 1888, giving the latest possible date for the image.

The image is very clear and done is rich sepia tones. There are no tears or stains. It is a nice early view of center of the battlefield, which was often ignored by early photographers in favor of the more varied topography of the left and right of the Union line, something that is a bit surprising since Pickett’s Charge and Hancock’s role in repulsing it forms the climax of the battle.

The frame is roughly 9 by 11 inches. The photograph itself is about 5 by 8 inches, exclusive of the mount. This is a very nice, early image of a key location on the battlefield. [sr] [ph:L]

NOTE: The frame does contain glass. See our policy for shipment of framed items.

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