While the main battle has raging all day, Confederate cavalry commander, J.E.B. Stuart kept finding ways to distract himself from the task at hand, namely, finding the rest of the Confederate army.
When he reached the outskirts of York, he found out that, while Lt. General Ewell’s men had been there, they weren’t any longer. They had been ordered to the west, to join up with the rest of the army. Stuart got back on the road to look for them.
Just about now, 150 years ago, the Confederate cavalry arrived at Carlisle expecting to find Ewell’s Corps, but once again, Stuart just missed them. Instead, he found Union militia troops under the command of Brig. General William “Baldy” Smith. Unlike some of the other militia commanders, Smith was determined to defend the town.
Stuart sent a messenger into town demanding surrender. Smith refused. After an hour or so of back-and-forth, Stuart had had enough. He brought up his artillery and shelled Carlisle, causing few injuries and starting several fires in the process.