This bronze equestrian statue honors Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886), a career US Army officer who served during the Mexican-American War and Civil War. He is remembered in particular for his leadership at the Battle of Gettysburg, where he successfully repelled a Confederate attack. Following the war, Hancock was assigned to oversee the execution of the Lincoln assassination conspirators, including Mary Surratt.
Erection of the statue was approved by Congress on March 2, 1889, along with an appropriation of $50,000–an incredible sum at the time. The statue was sculpted by Henry Jackson Ellicott (1847-1901) and installed on May 12, 1896, in a small public plaza at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Seventh Street NW. The figure of Hancock stands nine feet tall and is dressed in the uniform of an army officer. He is sitting erect and facing forward on his horse with his hands resting in front of him holding the reins.