The Hancock-Walker Correspondence on Gettysburg


Student Author:

Brianna E. Kirk '15, Gettysburg College

Document Type


Publication Date



Civil War Era Studies


Francis Amasa Walker was born in Boston in 1840 to a secure place among Boston’s Brahmin elite. He graduated from Amherst College in 1860 with “two prizes for ex tempore speaking” and was ready to begin reading law. But in August 1861 he enlisted in the 15th Massachusetts, serving as regimental sergeant major, and fought through most of the major campaigns of the Army of the Potomac. He was soon promoted to captain, then major, and then lieutenant colonel. He sustained a serious wound from a shell splinter at Chancellorsville and did not return to service until August 1863. The following year, he was captured at Reams’s Station and was an occupant of Libby Prison until his exchange in October 1864. He left the army in January 1865, but not before Winfield Scott Hancock had recommended him for promotion to brevet brigadier general of Volunteers (which was confirmed in 1866). (excerpt)


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