A Writer's World

November 22, 2019

By Jim Kelly

 Well, it is finally out of the starting gate and my first novel is live on Amazon. It has been an amazing journey filled with research, rewrites and editing, editing and more editing.  I found writing a most enjoyable undertaking and loved the research aspects.  I'm hooked and have already begun the next few books.


Many military leaders came to prominence during the American Civil War. Each one has a story, but none more compelling than that of Major General Winfield Scott Hancock. West Point educated in 1844, his experience in the Mexican War inspires and excites Hancock to forego a career in law and pursue one as a professional soldier. Passionately loved by his family, revered by his soldiers, and feared by his enemies, he stands as the premier Union corps commander. Grant, Meade, and McClellan (who referred to him as "Hancock the Superb") continually called upon Hancock to turn the tide of battle. Sherman brings Hancock to the Great Plain after the war, but with a different outcome.  Hero to the nation, he is the the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in 1880 though he cared little for politics.

Winfield Scott Hancock's story has been told by a distinguished group of historians and biographers who captured an overwhelming number of facts throughout the general's life. Some, like Francis Amasa Walker, served with the general; more recently, others wrote about his life in its entirety or on specific periods like Gettysburg or the Plains post Civil War. I couldn't get enough of the information but began to ask questions that would shine light on Hancock's character, hence the historical fiction novel "I am a Soldier, First and Always."    

Being a retired soldier, I paid my respects to General Hancock where he rests today in Norristown, Pennsylvania.