Winfield S. Hancock (1824-1886) was a decorated Union General in the Civil War, and a native of Norristown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The Historical Society of Montgomery County Winfield
S. Hancock collection, 1841-1995, includes papers from Winfield S. Hancock and his family members, as well as more recent materials relating to Hancock's tomb. The papers directly stemming from Winfield S. Hancock include letters and account books, and were primarily collected by Gen. Hancock's friend and attorney Benjamin E. Chain. 


"Winfield Scott Hancock was a decorated Union officer during the Civil War. Recognized for his success in repulsing the Confederate forces at Gettysburg, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general in 1864 and later major-general. In 1867 he commanded the Department of Louisiana and Texas, where his proclamation giving civil tribunals jurisdiction was heralded by local government but disapproved by Congress. He was relieved of command and transferred to the Department of Dakota (1870-1872), later the Division of the Atlantic (1872-1886), and finally to the Department of the East. In the National Democratic Convention of 1868 he received votes for the presidential nomination and in 1880 he was nominated for president by the Democratic Party, which he lost to James A. Garfield."
General Hancock was born in Norristown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 1824. He died on Governors Island in New York City in 1886.


Wellner, Anita. Finding aid for "Winfield Scott Hancock papers, 1865-1872, MSS 099, F815." University of Delaware Library, Special Collections. March 2008. Accessed January 31, 2012. http://

Scope and Contents

This collection includes papers from Winfield S. Hancock and his family members, as well as more recent materials relating to Hancock's tomb. The collection includes a small amount of letters from Winfield Scott Hancock to his attorney and long-time friend, Benjamin E. Chain, esq. (1878-1886), as well as volumes of B. E. Chain receipt books relative to Gen Hancock. From Gen. Hancock's father, Benjamin F. Hancock, the collection includes receipts and accounts, and legal papers. The collection includes two original deeds, dated 1841 and 1846. 

From after Gen. Hancock's death, there is a scrapbook on the Gen. Hancock memorial, circa 1904. It was likely created by B. Percy Chain, son of B. E. Chain, who inherited the care of Gen. Hancock's tomb after his father passed. From later in the 20th century there are records of the W. S. Hancock tomb restoration committee, circa 1979; genealogical research on Hancock family; newspaper clippings and photocopies of newspaper clippings on Gen. Hancock and his tomb; and photographs, 1995.

Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories