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    Description

    Winfield Scott Hancock War-Date Autograph Letter About His Wound Sustained at Gettysburg. Excellent Autograph Letter Signed (twice; in full and with initials), 2 pages, recto and verso, 5" by 8", on the letterhead of the "Headquarters Second Army Corps," Army of the Potomac, January 6, 1864. To the "Surgeon in Charge of Officers Hospital, Council "Woods', Philadelphia, Pa. In excellent condition.

    Sitting on his horse at the front of his lines during Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg, it wasn't until the final stages of the fighting that Hancock thought he'd been hit with a tenpenny nail. In fact a minie ball had passed through the pommel of his saddle and carried the bullet, and bits of foreign matter, into his right thigh. He was transported by ambulance to Westminster, then Baltimore, then Philadelphia. By October, although the wound was still open, he was able to walk with a cane and resume command of the Second Corps - a fact he reports to his surgeon here. "My Dear Sir. I assumed command of my Corps Dec. 29th last. I have not entirely recovered; the Surgeons here, still probing my wound to the depth of six inches, but I consider myself practically well. My last Surgeon's certificate expired January 1/64." A postscript specifically addressed to "Surg. In Command...Philadelphia" continues, "I write with the view of having you discharge me from your hospital, if you have not already done so. When I passed through Philadelphia, I expected to have returned for a few days, not Washington - but being ordered to remain in Washington until I am well. I failed to see you as I had intended." Hancock's wound continued to seep blood and fluid for the next year, however, forcing him from the field for weeks at a time. He finally retired from active duty during the Petersburg siege in November 1864. From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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