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Hanover in York County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Battle of Hanover

”Hanover saved the fate of the nation.”

 

— Gettysburg Campaign —

 
Battle of Hanover Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, August 28, 2021
1. Battle of Hanover Marker
Inscription.  (preface)
After a stunning victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia through Maryland into Pennsylvania, marching east to threaten Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. The Army of the Potomac marched north from the nation’s capital, searching for Lee. On July 1-3, the armies collided at Gettysburg in one of the pivotal battles of the Civil War. Three days later, after a bloody defeat, the Confederates began retreating to Virginia
.

On the morning of June 30, 1863, part of Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry corps clashed with the rear guard of Union Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick’s command half a mile down Frederick Street in front of you. The 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry retreated past here before Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth counterattacked with the 5th New York Cavalry. As the Confederates fell back southward, Kilpatrick returned on Abbottstown Road from the north and barricaded the streets around you. For much of the day, each side exchanged cannon volleys. Late in the afternoon, Stuart withdrew to the northeast to search for Confederate
Battle of Hanover Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Shane Oliver, August 28, 2021
2. Battle of Hanover Marker
The Central Hotel building can be seen in the distance, directly behind the marker.
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Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army.

Kilpatrick reported 19 Federal troops killed, including two officers, and 178 wounded or missing. Confederate casualties were likely more than 150, with 20 killed. The engagement was technically a Federal victory since Stuart withdrew from the field, and the town remained in Union hands. More important, it diverted Stuart from his intended route in Hanover. This detour added significant miles and hours to his movements. He failed to reunite with Lee until late in the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Stuart’s absence deprived Lee of his “eyes and ears” when he needed his cavalry most, to screen his infantry from Federal probes and to help secure Gettysburg’s high ground before the Federals could do so. The events at Hanover, the first battle on free soil, had an important effect on the Battle of Gettysburg. In 1887, Union Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, writing of the Gettysburg Campaign, asserted that “Hanover saved the fate of the nation.”

(image captions)
Center Square, 1863 - Courtesy York County Heritage Trust

Central Hotel, ca. 1845 - Poist Studio, Hanover, Pa.
The Central Hotel, in front of you, built early in the 19th century, served as Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick’s headquarters after the battle. It is one of the only antebellum buildings still standing.
 
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Pennsylvania Civil War Trails & York County.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 30, 1863.
 
Location. 39° 48.047′ N, 76° 58.984′ W. Marker is in Hanover, Pennsylvania, in York County. Marker is at the intersection of Broadway Street (Pennsylvania Route 194) and Carlisle Street (Pennsylvania Route 94), on the right when traveling south on Broadway Street. Marker is located on the NE corner of the town square. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hanover PA 17331, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Union Strikes Back (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Hanover (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Battle of Hanover (a few steps from this marker); Market House (within shouting distance of this marker); Hanover's Wounded (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); General George Armstrong Custer (within shouting distance of this marker); Major General George Armstrong Custer (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hanover.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 7, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 136 times since then and 73 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 7, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Aug. 14, 2022