The Forgotten Battlefield - Battle Of Hanover Court House, Also Known As The Battle Of Slash Church

Diane123

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The Battle of Hanover Court House, also known as the Battle of Slash Church, took place on May 27, 1862, in Hanover County, Virginia.
On May 27, elements of BG Fitz John Porter's V Corps of 12,000 men extended north to protect the right flank of MG George B. McClellan's Union Army of the Potomac based on a rumor from a Virginia civilian that a Confederate force of 17,000 was moving to Hanover Court House, north of Mechanicsville.

Porter's objective was to deal with the Confederate force near Hanover Court House, which threatened the avenue of approach for Union reinforcements that were marching south from Fredericksburg. The smaller Confederate force of about 4000 men, under led by Col. Lawrence O'Bryan Branch, which included the 7th, 18th, 28th, and 37th North Carolina Infantry regiments, and the 45th Georgia Infantry. Col. Lawrence O'Bryan Branch pulled his units back to Ashland VA after losing the battle.

After reading the book General Lee’s Immortals by Michael Hardy I went out to find this battlefield as our family had a few members in the 18th NC. The 18th earned the name of the "Bloody 18th" in this battle which one of our family members Captain Wiley John Sykes was killed leading a charge against the enemy lines

I found only one sign with any information and that was for the Slash Church. I could not locate any Civil War Trails or information signs about the battle. It maybe because most of the land the battle took place on is in private hands now. If not for the map provided in the book I would have not known any of the locations to go see. The five locations are (attached pics are in this order) Slash Church used as a headquarters and hospital, Lebanon Church used as a hospital, Peake’s Station, Harris farm and Dr Kinney’s.

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Thanks so much for sharing this info! Now I have another place to add to my Virginia Bucket List!😍
 

jcrook

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Oct 10, 2017
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Newton Grove, North Carolina
I'm curious, jcrook, where you found the battle map that shows the troop movement at 1:30 (phase 2). I've found a ton of maps and documents, but nothing like that. I'd love to see a source that shows the battle in a blow-by-blow timeline.

Also, I'm not sure if there ever was a "Taliaferro's Mill." Everyone mentions it, but only the military maps show it. Others refer to it as "Phillip's Mill." And there are Taliaferros living in the vicinity.

It's possible that Branch and the other commanders thought that was the name, referred to it in reports and it stuck?

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I believe I copied it from the book "The Battle of Hanover Courthouse" Turning Point of the Peninsula Campaign, May 27, 1862 by Michael C. Hardy It has a number of maps in it
 

jcrook

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Oct 10, 2017
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Newton Grove, North Carolina
Captain Wiley John Sykes, brother of Mary Eliza Sykes who married John J. Melvin. John ((cousin) Sgt in the 36th NC Art / 2nd NC Art Co H Fort Fisher) was the son of George Melvin who was the son of John Thomas Melvin my 4x great grandfather.

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jcrook

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Oct 10, 2017
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Newton Grove, North Carolina
I'm really surprised there is no CWT marker for this battle. There are smaller actions than this that have CWT markers, even if the battlefield is on private property. Was just reading about it yesterday in Lee's Immortals about the Branch/Lane brigade.
Civil War Trails seems to have dropped the ball on this one
 

jcrook

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Oct 10, 2017
Location
Newton Grove, North Carolina
I reached out to a friend of mine that tracks Confederate cemeteries in VA about Capt Skyes and the others that died at Hanover. His response: " The trench grave for some of the dead is in Woodland Cemetery in Ashland VA. There is a CSA Monument there with the names of soldiers that died in local hospitals in the Confederate section. As far as I know, the battlefield dead, stayed as unknowns and are buried there too."
 
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