Thursday, September 5, 2013


So, after my post the other day, I've received a few emails from people who have never been to Hanover, or from people who have been here but never realized that anything significant in regard to the Gettysburg Campaign happened here. In all cases they ask basically the same questions; "What's left?", and "What is there to see to learn about the battle?".

To answer them both, I think there's a lot of significant things to see, and a lot that is marked and interpreted. It can be done in a brief visit, or you can dig deep, do some walking, do some exploring, and spend a good amount of time seeing it. A trip to find Hanover's Civil War treasure is time well spent no matter how long you stay.

(Shameless book selling pitch time): Plenty of Blame to Go Around, by Eric Wittenberg and J. David Petruzzi actually features a very good narrative of the battle of Hanover. At the end there's gold; it features a driving tour with distances and directions of where to go and what to see in Hanover. In fact, the driving tour traces Stuart's route from Westminster to Gettysburg, so it's not limited to the Hanover area.

Briefly, on the Hanover square, or in close proximity, you can find a memorial to all who fought, "The Picket" monument, and his companion, "Mr. Mike", the dog eternally at his side. There's also Kilpatrick's headquarters, Custer's headquarters, the site of the "Custer Maple", the No. 1 Parrott rifle, and various interpretive markers. 

The Hanover Theater, though not open at present, features portraits and paintings outside that are related to the battle and the major players in the Civil War. Please excuse the wrong date on the tablet. It says that the battle happened in 1883.

Nearby are the Sheppard Mansion, the site of the Winebrenner Tannery, the ditch that Stuart jumped on Westminster Ave, and various waysides and markers that detail the battle. Also scattered in abundance throughout Hanover are buildings and homes that were here during the battle. Many are on Broadway Ave in close proximity to the square and are worth seeing. There is a wayside on Broadway that locates and identifies several historic buildings.

With the help of the Internet, or the driving tour in Plenty of Blame to Go Around, you can locate such things as the opening area of the battle, Stuart's position when the battle started, the Jesse Rice farm location, the route of the captured wagon trains, and many other little-known and often-overlooked sites of interest.

Lastly, no tour of Hanover is complete without a stop in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Confederate artillery dueled with Federal artillery on the heights on the opposite side of town from this cemetery. Cannon from both sides fired directly over the town, and as can be expected, several rounds fell short into the town or exploded overhead. Mt. Olivet also features the gravesites of many of Hanover's prominent and wealthy residents, the Hanover Civil War Memorial, and the gravesites of some of Hanover's Civil War veterans. In itself, this cemetery is a treasure, and any time spent there will be both worthwhile and rewarding.

So, Civil War Hanover is out there waiting to be explored. Some of it is right in the open just asking to be seen. A lot of it is hidden, but it can be easily found by those who take the time to look for it.

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