Monday, September 2, 2013

It's too bad you had to move to Hanover.

You love Gettysburg so much I bet you wish you could have stayed where it happened and not had to move so far away, right?

I get it. I've only got that a few times so far, but let's clarify. It's the basis for a good blog post, so let me first say what's around us, and what we're right in the middle of. In later posts, I'll go into some of the things in more detail in the coming days.

I've gone into this same topic when I lived in Gettysburg, and I won't get bogged down again. Just remember, there's more to the Gettysburg Campaign than three days of fighting in Gettysburg. Gettysburg was a large campaign that lasted for over a month. It was spread out over an extremely vast amount of territory through three states. The culmination of the campaign was the three fierce days of fighting, but the campaign did not end until the pursuit ended on July 14, when the ANV crossed the Potomac River. 

The Battle of Hanover took place on June 30, 1863 in and around the center square and the town of Hanover. It involved Union cavalry forces under the command of Judson Kilpatrick, and was the first significant combat action of the newly-promoted Elon Farnsworth and George Custer in their new rank of Brigadier General.

On the Confederate side, JEB Stuart's lengthy delay, and eventual withdrawal from Hanover would basically end any chance that Stuart would have of linking with Ewell's Corps and the main body of the Army of Northern Virginia. Custer would fight Stuart first in Hanover, again on July 2nd in Hunterstown, and once more on July 3 just east of Gettysburg. The Battle of Hanover would produce over 325 casualties, so in actuality it was no small affair.

The Hanover square is less than a mile from our new residence. Keeping an eternal vigilance over the Hanover square is "the Picket", a tribute to all who fought here. We'll get more into the story of the Picket, and "Mr. Mike", the dog sculpture who is now his faithful companion, in an upcoming post.

During the Hanover engagement, JEB Stuart and some of his staff would avoid capture by jumping a 15ft wide drainage ditch on Westminster Avenue. It is 1 1/2 miles away.

Kilpatrick's headquarters, Custer's headquarters, and the so-called "Custer Maple" location are on the square, less than a mile away. Also nearby is the Number One Parrott rifle.

Stuart would position an artillery battery in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. It is 1 1/2 miles away, and it will be the subject of an upcoming post.

A Confederate Colonel, Wm Payne, was thrown from his horse and into a tanning vat at the Winbrenner Tannery and would be captured as a result. It's just over a mile away.

At the start of the fighting in Hanover, Judson Kilpatrick was a four miles north of Hanover near Abbottstown. When he heard the fighting, he made a mad rush back to Hanover to assess and try to take control of the situation. The Abbottstown Rd, currently Broadway Ave is 1/2 block from our new place, which means Kilpatrick basically rode through our neighborhood.

So, when thinking of Gettysburg, don't overlook the vastness of the territory encompassed by the entire campaign. A person may not live in or near Gettysburg; that doesn't mean they aren't "where it happened." As I see it, we're still right in the middle of it all. In this case, however, the "all" is some of the more obscure, though still significant, cavalry fighting, the result of which would affect the three day battle still to come.
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