"I am a Soldier, First and Always" The Distinguished Career of Winfield Scott Hancock
James Harold Kelly
Historical fiction novel of General WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK. Known as “Hancock the Superb” and the hero of Gettysburg, he was a West Point graduate, professional soldier, and Presidential candidate, serving for over 40 years. Grant's best corps commander.
Closely mentored by his lawyer father, Hancock attends West Point and finds military life and battle during the Mexican War suits him better than a career in law. Promoted from captain to brigadier general at the start of the Civil War, he excels, always at the forefront and an inspiration.
Success in the Civil War does not mean success on the Great Plains against Sioux and Cheyenne. He is assigned to Louisiana during Reconstruction. Fairness in dealing with former Confederates results in his nomination as the Democratic candidate in 1880. Loss to Garfield dose not tarnish the hero.
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Plot - Other Elements
Mature Audience Themes
Extreme Violence, Language/Profanity
Main Character Details
Name: Winfield Scott Hancock
Age: Life story from 14-61
Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Aggressive,Charming,Confident,Patriotic,Decisive,Faithful,Skillful,Selfless,Outspoken,Honorable,Leader,Strong Moral Code
Additional Character Details
Name: Almira Russell Hancock
Age: 18-54 (when husband passes)
Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Confident,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Heartthrob,Educated,Seductive,Romantic,Funny,Outspoken,Selfless,Modest,Adventurous,Strong Moral Code,Sophisticated
Additional Character Details
Name: Benjamin Hancock (Father)
Key Traits: Aspiring,Masculine,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Flexible,Educated,Strong Moral Code,Sophisticated,Skillful,Outspoken,Selfless,Religious,Patriotic,Modest,Leader
Additional Character Details
The author has not yet written this
General WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK was known as “Hancock the Superb” and the hero of Gettysburg. A West Point graduate and professional soldier, he served for over 40 years. This historical fiction novel chronicles his life, based on actual events. It introduces plausible thoughts, conversations, and actions of the main character, revealed through his interaction with family members and those with whom he served. His most intimate feelings are expressed only to his wife, Almira, in conversations and letters throughout his career. With the Union defeat at Chancellorsville, Major General Hancock is now the commander of the Second Corps. To everyone’s surprise, George Meade is named Commanding General Army of the Potomac, and, after chasing Lee’s army across Virginia, they are now in Pennsylvania on the eve of the Battle of Gettysburg. Readers of historical fiction and those interested in military history will find this novel accurately captures periods of conflict in Mexico and the Civil War. The fictional story, however, expands the aperture to possibilities that helped shaped the hero he was to become. It is Hancock's emergence as one of the premier commanders under notables like McClellan, Meade, Sherman, and Grant that readers will find his story most interesting.
This is the real-life story of General Winfield Hancock. After studying law, he finds a career in the military, where he proves to be an essential commander and an inspiration for the soldiers during the Civil War.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes, it mostly does. The only issue is that the short summary advances beyond what is told in the story, probably encompassing the events narrated in the next installments.
Draw of Story
The idea of getting to know the story of a legendary war hero from his youth is the most attractive aspect of the book at the beginning of the narrative.
Much of the book focuses on other characters that are very undeveloped throughout the narrative, making it challenging to keep the attention on the story.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
To discover the intimacy, the inner struggles, the conflicts, and the strength that moved a legendary figure in American history throughout his military and political life.
The story can attract an audience interested in historical narratives, focusing on the US military and political history.
The original story would undoubtedly have the potential for that, but the narrative itself is too scattered and confusing to earn any Awards as it is right now.
Similar Films/TV Series
LINCOLN- IN THE FILM, AMERICAN PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN FIGHTS TO REUNITE THE COUNTRY DURING CIVIL WAR. PATTON-THE TRUE STORY OF THE CONTROVERSIAL AMERICAN GENERAL GEORGE PATTON, WHO ACHIEVED SUCCESS DURING WORLD WAR II.
What’s New About the Story
The originality comes from the amount of detail with which the book depicts the Civil War. However, the fragmented format of the book ends up distracting the reader from the main narrative and makes it difficult to follow the story.
The main character is trustworthy, honest, communicative, and skillful, practically the definition of an exceptional leader.
Uniqueness of Story
It's not a rare gem. It lacks more involvement with the characters and a more linear and cohesive narrative for the story to actually have a deeper and more lasting impact.
Film: Studio TV Series: Limited Run / Mini-Series
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
Considering a possible adaptation for film or TV, the main change is to adjust the focus of the narrative. Of course, when telling a story involving the American Civil War, details about the conflict and the people who took place in it are crucial to the audience's understanding and emotional engagement. Therefore, showing different characters and battlefronts is not a problem in itself. The matter is how much this part of the story occupies almost all the space after a given point. For an adaptation to the screen, it must be necessary to review all this, add more depth to the relationship of these characters even in the context of war, and never leave the protagonist's focus aside. In this way, it is possible to successfully build a war epic without neglecting the emotional side, which is what must involve viewers in the narrative and justify its impact in the end.