Printing of this publication financed by:
A self-guided walking tour
of historic accounts in
Message from Mayor Gary Brown
Welcome to Downtown Hanover. We are delighted you
have decided to take a walk into the past by participating
in the Battle of Hanover Walking Tour. Please enjoy our
charming town and visit our fine shopping, dining and
lodging establishments, and area attractions. We hope you
enjoy your visit and come back to see us soon!
How to Use This Guide
The Battle of Hanover Walking Tour is a two-mile selfguided tour through Downtown Hanover. Although the
tour is designed to begin where you choose, we advise
starting your journey into Hanover’s history by parking in
Center Square or a nearby lot (indicated on the inside
map). Waysides are numbered for navigational purposes
only and may not necessarily be in chronological order.
Battle of Hanover
One of the reasons why General Robert E. Lee failed to
gain victory at Gettysburg might have been the unplanned
encounter at Hanover. Lee was depending on Major
General J.E.B. Stuart to supply him with information
about the position of General George G. Meade’s Union
army. Meanwhile, Stuart had captured a Union wagon
train and was cutting around the right of Meade’s forces
when he clashed with the troops of Major General Judson
Kilpatrick and General George A. Custer of the Union
cavalry at Hanover. The engagement lasted the best part of
the day. In the evening, Stuart withdrew to meet Lee along
the Susquehanna River. Lee, in the meantime had begun to
concentrate his army in the Gettysburg and Cashtown
areas. Stuart, delayed by the conflict at Hanover, was “lost”
to Lee and the Confederate army, and they did not reach
Lee at Gettysburg until the second day of the three-day
battle. In the meantime, Kilpatrick marched his troops
straight to Gettysburg after the conflict in Hanover and
participated in the Union victory there.
Destruction of Private Property
Josiah Gitt, a Hanover merchant, was hard hit by
Confederate and Union troops moving through the
area the next day. One of his properties was a farm in
York County along Westminster Road. By the time the
main Confederate column had passed this farm, Gitt
had lost three horses, three mules, 75 bushels of corn
and 20 bushels of oats. To be installed Fall 2008.
Mount Olivet Cemetery
The Soldiers' Memorial, located within Mount Olivet
Cemetery, bears plaques that display the names of
Civil War soldiers from Hanover and the vicinity. It
is also the final resting place of Civil War pioneer
newspaper woman, Mary Shaw Leader. The
cemetery is located at 725 Baltimore St. (not plotted
on the map).
Conrad Moul - The Public
The Public Commons was sold or rented by
perpetual land leases to local industries, such as
foundries, distillers, coal and lumber.
The Confederates Take Stock
After the initial success of the Confederate charge, the
center of Hanover was occupied by a large
contingent of Southern cavalry. In the town,
Regiments were bringing in captured Union men.
Battle of Hanover
On the morning of June 30, 1863, Confederate Cavalry
General Stuart attacked the rear of the Union Cavalry
SE of here, and for a while, had possession of the town.
The Square is Now Recaptured
The Scattered Debris of Battle
Major John Hammond led the charge into Center
Square “with drawn sabers.” The Union “onslaught”
of counterattacks was sudden and strong. The battleworn Confederates retreated along Frederick St., side
streets and into the fields.
The Picket depicts a Union cavalryman standing picket
duty during the Battle of Hanover does not represent
any one soldier, but instead represents all of the Union
cavalry who took part in the battle.
On November 18, 1863, President Lincoln addressed
the citizens of Hanover from the rear platform of a
Hanover branch railroad coach on his way to dedicate
the national cemetery in Gettysburg.
Washington stopped at an inn located on this site when
passing through Hanover during his presidency.
General George Armstrong Custer
George Armstrong Custer was appointed brigadier
general on June 29, 1863, and assigned as
commander of the Michigan brigade, which he led as
the Union cavalry entered Hanover on the morning
of June 30, 1863. To be installed Fall 2008.
On June 30, 1863, Gen. Kilpatrick, commanding the
Third Division of the Union Cavalry, took
headquarters in this building after part of his forces had
been attacked by Confederate Cavalry SE of town.
The Hanover Spectator
Covers the Battle
In the July 3, 1863 edition of the Hanover Spectator,
the newspaper reported two scenes during the battles
that “are indelibly impressed upon our memory.”
The Daniel Trone House
Daniel Trone, a telegrapher at the Hanover Railroad
station, resided at 233 Frederick St. He telegraphed
much of the news to major northeastern cities
concerning the Battle of Gettysburg.
Mother Loses Two Hoffacker Sons
Elizabeth Hoffacker of West Manheim Township
received the news of her sons', John and William
Hoffacker's deaths. John was shot and killed
instantly upon the first encounter with the enemy in
Hanover on June 30, 1863 and William was mortally
wounded at Spotsylvania, Virginia Court House on
May 12, 1864. To be installed Fall 2008.
The Winebrenner Tannery
The Scene of Repeated Cavalry Charges
Control of this area remained uncertain as cavalrymen
fought. Upon the arrival of Union Regiments, the
balance of power tipped to the Union side. They then
made another charge, “driving the rebels in confusion
along the road and through the fields.”
J.E.B. Stuart’s Jump
Escaping extreme personal peril, Stuart, whose
retreat by the road was cut off, “...took the ditch at a
running leap, and landed safely on the other side
with several feet to spare.”
Custer at Hanover
Painted by Civil War artist Dale Gallon, soldiers are
shown armed with Spencer rifles that were accurate at
300 yards. A well-trained soldier could fire seven
aimed shots in 30 seconds.
Consequences on the Battle of
With Kilpatrick’s men firmly in control of Hanover,
Stuart was forced to detour to the east. By nightfall,
Stuart’s cavalry had moved away, still searching for
the Confederate infantry. The next day, the great battle
of Gettysburg began.
The Confederates Invade PA
The Opening Encounter at Hanover
In early June 1863, the Lee’s Confederate Army of
Northern Virginia left its camps in Virginia and
marched to Pennsylvania. Lee hoped that a victory
on northern soil might break the will of the Northern
population and possibly lead to a negotiated peace
and Southern independence.
Physicians Administer Aid
A lull in the fighting after the first charge prompted
several Hanover physicians to begin caring for the
wounded on the streets and sidewalks. As care for
the wounded progressed, they were all transferred to
a U.S. hospital that had been opened by authority of
Stood on this square from 1815 to 1872. Under the
market, at one end was a jail. Equipment for fighting
fires was kept here. Fairs and other public events
were held under its roof.
Killed in Action at Hanover
Nineteen Union cavalrymen were reported killed or
mortally wounded in Hanover on June 30, 1863.
They were buried in the German Reformed
Cemetery; later exhumed, and reburied in the
National Cemetery at Gettysburg.
A Glimpse of Hanover’s Past
The chaotic fighting at the Center Square quickly
spilled over onto several side streets, alleys and
fields. Along Abbottstown Street/Broadway, many
surviving pre-Civil War buildings are identified with
The Turning Point
Kilpatrick and his Union staff had reached the
vicinity of Abbottstown when they heard cannons.
Kilpatrick quickly returned back to Hanover to help
Cannons - Army of the Potomac
Two Civil War Cannons of the Square, Parrott
guns/tubes 1 and 6, circa 1863, rest in the south west
quadrant of Center Square. The Parrott gun is easily
recognized by the thick band of iron wrapped around its
breech. This reinforcing band, at the point of greatest
force, enabled the gun to be made of iron, rather than
bronze. The Parrott Gun could thus be manufactured
quickly and cheaply. It was a boon to the Union.
General George Custer
Although better known for his Indian fighting,
George Custer compiled a creditable record as a
cavalry leader in the latter part of the Civil War.
Women Tending to Wounded
In reporting the condition of the hospital, on August
1, Surgeon P. Gardner said, “Every desired comfort
is furnished in great abundance, and every luxury,
with which this county abounds in great profusion, is
supplied by sympathetic people, and administered to
the suffering wounded by devoted women. A heartier
response to the calls of humanity never came from a
more generous people than we have witnessed here.”
To be installed Fall 2008.
Pleasant Hill Hotel Becomes
Pleasant Hill Hotel was being used as a private academy
when the government rented the hotel to use as a
hospital for about 150 male patients from July 10 August 15. After the Battle of Gettysburg, about
13,000 wounded men passed through Hanover by
rail on their way home or to larger hospitals.
Dedicated in 2005 by the Rotary Club of Hanover, the
Gazebo features Hanover’s history. From the town’s
involvement in the Revolutionary War to inventions.
On June 30, 1863, General J. Kilpatrick's Union
Cavalry, hunting Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry, were
attacked here by Stuart. Repulsed, Stuart tried to
join Early; finding him gone, he marked to Carlisle,
failing to reach Gettysburg until July 2.
The Forney Farms
Fighting Focused on Forney Lands
The initial attack, the 13th Virginia and 2nd North
Carolina Cavalry Regiments charged along Frederick
St. and through the Forney fields. A later Union
counterattack drove the Rebels back through this
same area to the high ground southwest of Hanover.
The Winebrenner House
Confederate Artillery Opens Fire
After the artillery shell had penetrated the second
floor of the Winebrenner House, it emerged in a first
floor room where the rest of the family was gathered.
It then struck a brick wall, but failed to explode. Mr.
Winebrenner then threw the shell outside.
The Jacob Wirt House
Reverend William K. Zieber, pastor of Emmanuel
Reformed Church, encouraged the townspeople to
feed the hungry soldiers. While enjoying the people’s
hospitality, a Confederate artillery shell burst over
the town. Major John Hammond of the 5th New York
Cavalry promptly rode to the Center Square and
urged citizens to take shelter in their basements.
Battle of Hanover
Although the battle lasted only one day and was
small by Civil War standards, it played an important
part in the Gettysburg campaign. To be installed Fall
4 3 16 1
15 P 1
116 S T