The Gist of the Matter
Two soldiers, close friends for years, had the unlikely distinction of meeting (sort of) for the last time at Gettysburg. One fought for the Union, one for the Confederacy. One died in battle. The other nearly became President of the United States.
Winfield Scott Hancock
Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886) was a Pennsylvanian of a solid middle class background, named for a hero of the War of 1812. He had a West Point education (Class of 1844), graduating mid-class, assigned to the infantry, and then proving his soldierly mettle mostly as a quartermaster. In private life, he married Almira (Russell) in 1850, and had two children who predeceased him. He received various assignments and promotions and, once the Civil…
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