''Goodbye old Boy & if tomorrow night finds me dead remember me kindly as a soldier who meant to do his whole duty."

- Zook in an 1862 letter


Samuel K. Zook was born in Chester County, but moved to Valley Forge as a boy to live with his grandmother. He began a successful career in the new field of telegraphy in 1842, working on crews all over the country. He made several improvements to telegraph apparatus, and at one point held the record for fastest telegraph operator.

When the Civil War began, Zook was living in New York City and already an officer in the New York militia. While he missed Antietam due to illness, Zook was present at Fredericksburg, where he served directly under Winfield Scott Hancock. Zook was severely wounded on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. He died the following day, after being told that the Union had won the battle. He was posthumously promoted to Major General, making him the highest ranking soldier from Montgomery County killed in the Civil War.