How much did the Battle of Hanover impact the Battle of Gettysburg?

major bill

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General J.E.B. Stuart clashed with General Judson Kilpatrick troopers at the Battle of Hanover on June 30, 1861. Although there was no clear victor the battle did force Stuart to retire to the north after the battle. This northward detour delayed Stuarts cavalry from rejoining General Lee. How much this delay impacted the Battle of Gettysburg is unknown. One can speculate how the Battle of Gettysburg would have changed if Lee had Stuart sooner.
 

major bill

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Stuart was attempting to find Ewell and was moving towards were his last report put Ewell. I am not sure I have ever read how long the Battle of Hanover and Struart's move north after the battle delayed Stuart from arriving at Gettysburg.
 

rpkennedy

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Wasn't Stuart expecting to find Ewell at the Susquehanna by that point?
Correct. At the last report the main column of the Second Corps was somewhere between Carlisle and Harrisburg with Early around York.

When Stuart was riding towards Hanover (he had to take a detour away from Littlestown due to Union cavalry), he knew that Early had been in the area of York and was likely going to head in that direction. Right around the time of the Hanover fight, he learned that Early had moved northwest from York towards Dover, PA. After Hanover, he rode towards Dover, arriving after midnight on July 1 and discovered that Early had moved west towards Shippensburg. After a rest on the morning of the 1st, part of Stuart's column rode to Carlisle, hoping to find Ewell's Corps in the area. Instead, he found several thousand militia and after firing some shells into the town (the courthouse in the square still bears the scars of that fire) before moving southwest towards Gettysburg.

The real results of Hanover was that it delayed Stuart's cavalry from reaching the rest of the army for about 48 hours and forced their already fatigued horses to march some 70 additional miles. The rearguard action at Hunterstown on July 2 also contributed to this delay and wear and tear.

Ryan
 
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major bill

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So this gives the "what if" people some food for thought. Had Stuart arrived 48 hours earlier how would this change the Battle of Gettysburg? We may not know the answer but having Stuart's troopers would have given General Lee additional options.
 
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