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Historic America

Hanover Battlefield in York County, Pennsylvania

This small skirmish in a small Pennsylvania town had big consequences on the nearby Battle of Gettysburg.

The Battle of Hanover was fought on June 30, 1863 between Union cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick and Confederate cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in the Borough of Hanover, Pennsylvania during the American Civil War. This inconclusive skirmish, part of the Gettysburg Campaign, resulted in approximately 332 total casualties. It delayed Stuart from reuniting with General Robert E. Lee’s army at Gettysburg, denying him critical intelligence during the early stages of that battle.

In June 1863, after a dramatic victory at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee made the fateful decision to move north with his Army of Northern Virginia and invade Pennsylvania. The Union Army of the Potomac was slow to respond, and Confederate forces met little resistance as they fanned out across southern Pennsylvania. Confederate cavalry under Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, however, became trapped east of the Union army, and Stuart’s exhausted troopers fought several skirmishes to cut their way back to Lee’s army.

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