Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock Equestrian Monument, Bronze sculpture by
Frank Edwin Elwell
Located on East Cemetery Hill. (see Google map link at bottom of page)
(hover over the lower right corner of photo and a magnifying glass icon will appear. Click on the icon to enlarge the photo)
Major General Winfield Scott Hancock Equestrian Monument
Dedicated June 5, 1896
The second bronze equestrian monument dedicated on the battlefield at Gettysburg was in honor of the Northern Army commander Major General Hancock. (On the morning of June 5,1896 the Meade equestrian would also be dedicated. See previous post. )
Legislation was brought before the Pennsylvania General Assembly and was approved by Governor Daniel H. Hastings for the erection of a monument to General Meade at Gettysburg. The state approved $22,000.00 for the bronze statue and an additional $8000.00 for the pedestal
"Hancock the Superb"
Any student of the battle of Gettysburg is aware of Major General Hancock and his leadership at Gettysburg. Hancock's true genius as a commander would be displayed during the three day battle.
The sculptor Frank Edwin Elwell has captured the calming but commanding presence of Hancock on the afternoon of July 1.
A concerned Hancock gazes towards the fields west of Gettysburg looking to see if Lee will follow up on his victory on July 1st.
One of the features of the Hancock is the fact the sculptor depicts the General with one gloved hand and one bare hand. It is supposed the bare hand was to represent "calmness."
One of the finest artists of our day is Don Troiani and his creation "Cemetery Hill July 1, 1863" which depicts Hancock rallying the troops of the 1st and 11th Corps. A portion of that painting can be seen above. Troiani in his constant pursuit of accuracy paints Hancock without gauntlets. I contacted Don via e-mail in regards to this feature and he indicated he had found a personal account by a member of the 5th Maine Battery where the soldier noted Hancock was bare handed.
Elwell's attention to detail is incredible. Note the chain retainer on the spur as well as the stitching and folds in the boot.
When one studies the details of these magnificent works of art, it is a testament not only to the sculptors but the artisans that cast these bronze statues over 116 years ago.
Elwell included the Eagle Breastplate and Martingale used to control the horse 's head from a rapid upward movement preventing the rider from being struck in the face.
The horse's hoove with shoe.
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