L.A.’s little-known connection to the Battle of Gettysburg | UCLA
Before the war, they were best friends, "closer than brothers," and Armistead seems to have had a spiritual if not romantic connection with Hancock's wife, Mary. Everything you ever wanted to know about Lewis Armistead in The Killer Angels, to his best friend Winfield Scott Hancock, a Union general: "'Win, so help me. The relationship that existent between Union General Winfield Scott Hancock together with General Lewis Armistead caused the droving apart from the civil war.
Lewis Armistead gave his Bible and personal belongings to Allie for safekeeping — to be opened only if he died in battle. Hancock headed East to offer his services in the defense of the Union. Hancock's first action was during the Peninsula Campaign, where he commanded a brigade at the Battle of Williamsburg on May 5, McClellan telegraphed to Washington that "Hancock was superb today," and Hancock the Superb was born.
Richardson in the horrific fighting at Bloody Lane. Hancock made a dramatic entrance onto the battlefield, galloping between his troops and the enemy, parallel to the Sunken Road. General McClellan was replaced with General Ambrose Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac about that time, and he was replaced by General Joseph Hooker in the spring of Hancock was promoted to major general on November 29,and led his division in the disastrous attack on Marye's Heights in the Battle of Fredericksburg the following month, where he was wounded in the abdomen.
In MayHancock's division was instrumental in covering the withdrawal of Federal forces at the Battle of Chancellorsville — another terrible Union defeat — and he was wounded again. When General Darius Couch asked to be transferred out of the Army of the Potomac in protest of the actions of General Hooker, Hancock assumed command of II Corps, which he would lead until shortly before the war's end.
Hancock at Gettysburg Hancock would provide his most important service at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. After hearing that General John Reynolds was killed early on July 1, Major General George Gordon Meadethe new commander of the Army of the Potomac, sent Hancock ahead to take command of the units on the field and assess the situation. Federal positions had collapsed both north and west of town, and General Howard had ordered a retreat to the high ground south of town at Cemetery Hill.
Hancock then went to work establishing the Union battle line that would be known as the Fish Hook, and placed Union forces in a strong defensive position on Cemetery Ridge. Hancock's determination boosted the morale of the retreating Union soldiers, but he played no direct tactical role on the first day.
On the second day, General Robert E.
L.A.’s little-known connection to the Battle of Gettysburg
The second brigade of that division was the famed Irish Brigade. Prior to marching to the relief of Sickles, Father William Corby, the chaplain of the Irish Brigade, gave the soldiers general absolution for their sins. In the evening, the Confederates reached the crest of Cemetery Ridge, but could not hold the position in the face of counterattacks from the II Corps, including an almost suicidal counterattack by the First Minnesota against a Confederate brigade, ordered in desperation by Hancock.
Hancock was then commanding three-fifths of the Army of the Potomac. Prior to the attack, Confederate artillery would try to weaken the Union line. Around 1 PM, between to Confederate guns began an artillery bombardment that was probably the largest of the war.
After waiting about 15 minutes, 80 Federal cannons added to the din. During the artillery attack, Hancock rode along his line encouraging his men to hold their ground.
A soldier who witnessed Hancock that day stated, "His daring heroism and splendid presence gave the men new courage. In addition to the musketry and canister fire from Hancock's II Corps, the Confederates suffered fierce flanking artillery fire from Union positions north of Little Round Top.
Although the Federal line wavered and broke temporarily at a jog called the Angle, at a low stone fence just north of a patch of vegetation called the Copse of Trees, reinforcements rushed into the breach, and the Confederate attack was repulsed.
Hancock was not idle during the attack; he seemed to be everywhere on the battlefield, directing regiments and brigades into the fight. As he approached the Vermont Brigade commanded by Brigadier General George Stannard, Hancock suddenly reeled in his saddle and began to fall to the ground. Two of Stannard's officers sprang forward and caught Hancock as he fell.
A bullet had struck the pommel of Hancock's saddle and penetrated eight inches into his right groin, carrying with it some wood fragments and a large bent nail from the saddle. His aides applied a tourniquet to stanch the bleeding; Hancock removed the nail himself, and is said to have remarked wryly, "They must be hard up for ammunition when they throw such shot as that. Armistead's brigade got farther in the charge than any other, but they were quickly overwhelmed.
This event has been called the High Watermark of the Confederacy — the closest they ever came to winning Southern independence. Armistead was shot three times just after crossing the stone wall. Captain Henry Bingham of Hancock's staff rushed to Armistead and told him that his old friend Hancock had just been wounded a few yards away. Armistead was taken to a Union field hospital at the George Spangler Farmwhere he died two days later. General Hancock refused to leave the field until his troops had repulsed the Confederate attack.
Though in much pain, he continued to direct and encourage his men. The Union victory was largely the result of the leadership of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, and Gettysburg marked the zenith of his military career. Hancock was taken to his father's home in Norristown, Pennsylvania to recover. He was received at Norristown by his fellow citizens, and borne to his home on a stretcher, on the shoulders of soldiers of the Invalid Corps.
When Hancock had recovered enough to travel to West Point, he was honored with public receptions there, in New York, and at St. Louis, where he went to see his family. Grant's spring Overland Campaign, from the Rapidan to Petersburg. Grant was committed to a war of attrition, in which the superior Union forces would bleed Lee's army dry.
Union casualties would be high, but the Union had greater resources to replace lost soldiers and equipment. Hancock served with distinction in the strenuous and bloody series of battles that began in the Wilderness in early May, and continued through Yellow Tavern, North Anna, Old Church, Cold Harbor, Trevilian Station, and finally to the ten-month siege at Petersburg, Virginia.
At Spotsylvania Court House on May 12,Hancock led a magnificent pre-dawn charge at the head of his whole corps of 20, men. The target was the Mule Shoe — a salient in the Confederate trenches. In less than an hour, the II Corps broke through the Rebel lines. Hancock took close to 4, prisoners, destroying a whole division of the Confederate Second Corps. Hancock sent a brief despatch to General Grant: For those heroic efforts, Hancock earned the rank of major general.
In June, his Gettysburg wound reopened, but he soon resumed command, sometimes traveling by ambulance. Soon after the Union success at the Battle of Weldon Railroad, Hancock's II Corps was ordered to move south along that rail line, destroying track as it went.
Hill's infantry and General Wade Hampton's cavalry were moving out of Petersburg's defenses to meet this threat. Hill determined that a large frontal assault was needed to drive the Union forces off the railroad.
Hampton and Hill were finally able to coordinate an attack upon the Union position, and under this pressure, overran the Union position, capturing 9 guns, 12 colors, and many prisoners. The II Corps was shattered, and swept from the field by 7: Hancock realized his greatest defeat as a corps commander, losing nearly soldiers as casualties or as prisoners.
In Grant's campaign against Lee, Hancock and his famed II Corps had been repeatedly called upon to plunge into the very worst of the fighting, and the casualties had been terrible. At the beginning of Maythe II Corps numbered 30, officers and men. Casualties since then had topped 26, killed, wounded or missing and he felt their losses deeply. In late June the Mohave hostages escaped from Fort Yuma. Trouble broke out with the Mohave a few weeks later when they stole stock from a mail station that had been established two miles south of Fort Mojave, and attacked it.
Mohaves tore up melons planted by the soldiers near the fort, and the soldiers shot a Mohave who was working in a garden. Eventually after a few weeks of aggressive patrolling and skirmishes, Armistead attacked the Mohave who returned fire in a battle between about 50 soldiers and Mohave, resulting in three soldiers wounded. Twenty-three Mohave bodies were found but more were killed and wounded and removed by the Mohave.
Following this defeat, the Mohave made a peace, which they kept from then on. The wall behind the monument marks the Union lines. Accounts say that in a farewell party before leaving to join the Confederate army, Armistead told Hancock, "Goodbye; you can never know what this has cost me. He served in the western part of Virginia, but soon returned to the east and the Army of Northern Virginia.
At Antietamhe served as Lee's provost marshala frustrating job due to the high levels of desertion that plagued the army in that campaign. Then he was under command in the division of Maj. George Pickett at Fredericksburg. Because he was with Lt.
In the Battle of GettysburgArmistead's brigade arrived the evening of July 2, Armistead was mortally wounded the next day while leading his brigade towards the center of the Union line in Pickett's Charge. Armistead led his brigade from the front, waving his hat from the tip of his saber, and reached the stone wall at the "Angle", which served as the charge's objective.
Almira Hancock | Civil War Women
The brigade got farther in the charge than any other, an event sometimes known as the High Water Mark of the Confederacybut it was quickly overwhelmed by a Union counterattack.
Armistead was shot three times just after crossing the wall. Union Captain Henry H. Bingham received Armistead's personal effects and carried the news to Union Major General Winfield Scott Hancockwho was Armistead's friend from before the war.
Daniel Brinton, the chief surgeon at the Union hospital there, had expected Armistead to survive because he characterized the two bullet wounds as not of a "serious character. Thomas Chamberlain portrayed by C. Thomas Howellbrother of Col.