Gettysburg Live 150 – 9:00am – The Battle of Hanover

Brig. General Judson Kilpatrick led his division out of their camp at Littlestown toward Hanover. Their arrival in town brought great relief to the citizenry.

Just about 150 years ago right now, Maj. General J.E.B. Stuart’s Confederate Cavalry Division also arrived near Hanover. Stuart was behind schedule, and was desperately trying to find the rest of the Confederate army. He thought that Lt. General Richard Ewell’s Corps was in the York area, but he had to get there to find out for sure. Union cavalry was in the way.

What followed was several hours of fighting (including newly-minted Brig. General George Custer’s first action as a brigade commander) with the Union forces holding the town, and the Confederates trying to flush them out. Nothing was to be gained. Eventually, Stuart disengaged to the east and continued his ride in search of the rest of his army.

While relatively light on casualties for both sides, and with no clear tactical winner, the drawn-out struggle was clearly a strategic loss for the Confederate cavalry. It put them one more day behind schedule, and forced Stuart to move ever farther away from where General Lee actually was.

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