HANCOCK, Winfield Scott, was born Feb. 24, 1824, in Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, was graduated at West Point in 1844, and rose in the regular army to the rank of major general. His best known fighting was at Gettysburg. After the war he was placed in command of the 5th military district, with headquarters at New Orleans. (See RECONSTRUCTION.) Nov. 29, 1867, he issued a general order declaring that the rebellion was ended, that trial by jury, habeas corpus, the liberty of the press and of speech, and the natural rights of person and property would be maintained, and that crimes would be tried by the civil tribunals in his district. To republicans this seemed to be an unnecessary and officious interference with the congressional plan of reconstruction, and this feeling was not decreased by a message of President Johnson, Dec. 18, in which he suggested that congress should vote its thanks to Gen. Hancock for his action. Gen. Hancock's order made him very popular with democrats, north and south, and he was mentioned at successive national conventions until 1880, when he was nominated June 24. In the presidential election he was defeated by Gen. Garfield. (See ELECTORAL VOTES.)
—See Junkin's Life of Hancock; Freed's Life of Hancock.