Battle of Hanover

The engagement fought in Hanover may have had an effect on the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg. As General Robert E. Lee moved north toward Pennsylvania in June 1863, Major General J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry began to ride around the Union Army and gather information about Federal troop movements while collecting what supplies they could. Then Stuart was to promptly report to Lee. Along the way Stuart captured a large Union wagon train full of provisions, but it slowed him down. He crossed the Pennsylvania border only to find a portion of the Union Army between him and Lee, and had no way to report to his commander. Approaching Hanover on the morning of June 30, Stuart's vanguard encountered a Union cavalry division under Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick, which included Brigadier General George A. Custer's brigade. After severe fighting in the town's streets, the Federal horsemen chased the Rebels out of town.

Without news from Stuart, Lee had begun to concentrate his army around Gettysburg when he learned that the Federals were closing in. The wayward Stuart did not arrive until the evening of the battle's second day.