Samuel Kosciuszko Zook (born Samuel Kurtz Zook, March 27, 1821 – July 3, 1863) was a Union general during the American Civil War, killed in action during the Battle of Gettysburg. The 6th New York Militia helped out as a 90-day regiment during the first summer of the war. Zook served as the military governor in Annapolis, seeking support from politically influential men there to achieve a regimental command of his own. After he was mustered out, he raised the 57th New York Infantry and became its colonel on October 19, 1861.Zook's first combat was during the Seven Days Battles of 1862. His regiment was assigned to William H. French's brigade in Edwin V. Sumner's division of the Army of the Potomac, under Major Gen. George B. McClellan. Zook was personally scouting far out in front of his regiment in the run-up to the Battle of Gaines' Mill, got behind enemy lines, and found that Confederate Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder was conducting an elaborate deception, making it appear that he had significantly more troops in his sector than he actually had. Zook's discovery was reported up to McClellan, but it was ignored, and Union troops that could have been used successfully elsewhere remain tied down. On July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Brig. Gen. John C. Caldwell's division, including Zook's brigade, was sent to reinforce the crumbling III Corps line that was being assaulted by the Confederate corps of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet. Zook was directed by one of the III Corps staff officers toward the Wheatfield to reinforce the brigade of Col. Régis de Trobriand and to fill a gap near the Stony Hill. Zook, on horseback, led his men up the hill, which attracted the attention of men from the advancing 3rd and 7th South Carolina Infantry regiments, of Joseph B. Kershaw's brigade. He was struck by rifle fire in the shoulder, chest, and abdomen, and taken behind the lines for medical treatment at a toll house on the Baltimore Pike. He died from his wounds on July 3 and is buried near the grave of General Hancock in Montgomery Cemetery in West Norriton Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, near Norristown, Pennsylvania. He received a brevet promotion to major general for Gettysburg, awarded as of July 2. A small monument near the Wheatfield Road commemorates Zook's death.One of his soldiers in the 57th New York later characterized Zook as "a good disciplinarian; he hated cowardice and shams; had no patience with a man that neglected duty; was blunt, somewhat severe, yet good hearted ... a born soldier, quick of intellect, and absolutely without fear."
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