Oct 29



Colonel John Randolph Chambliss Jr. (January 23, 1833–August 16, 1864) commanded the first brigade of Confederate cavalry that entered Hanover on June 30, 1863. He was a native of Virginia, and a West Point graduate. As a lieutenant in 1853, he was an instructor at the cavalry school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Chambliss was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on December 19, 1863. He was killed in a fight with Union cavalry near Richmond, Virginia, on the Charles City Road on August 16, 1864. This view was taken circa the 1860s.

The Battle for Hanover is a not very well known, but very important action in the Gettysburg Campaign. Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps has written a book on this event: A Strong and Sudden Onslaught, The Cavalry Action at Hanover, Pennsylvania. John is the host for our series on the events leading up to the battle, and the battle itself. John is a McSherrystown, Pennsylvania native, a Hanover, Pennsylvania resident, and has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide since 1995. He had four ancestors who fought in the Civil War, all with Pennsylvania units. One relative fought on Gettysburg’s East Cemetery Hill the night of July 2, 1863.

In our first post we concentrated on an introduction to Stuart’s Cavalry raid, and showed some images from Union Mills, Maryland.

In our second post we continued our visit to Union Mills and looked at the route of the Old Hanover Road.

In our third post we finished our approach to Hanover and stopped along Line Road and the Gitt Farm.

In our fourth post John described the initial clash at Hanover at the junction of Westminster Avenue and Frederick Street on the morning of June 30, 1863.

In our fifth post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps showed us that as the battle moved toward Hanover’s town square, Confederate cavalry found an alley to outflank Union forces moving on Frederick Street.

In our sixth post, Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps showed us some items on the southwest and southeast quadrants of Hanover’s Town Square.

In our seventh post, John Krepps showed us the location of the farthest Confederate advance north of Hanover’s Town Square.

In our eighth post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps showed us “The Commons” area used by the 5th New York Cavalry as a staging area before they counterattacked the Confederates. He also showed us some monuments on the northeast quadrant of Hanover’s Town Square.

In our ninth post, Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps showed us how the fighting moved south and southwest of Hanover and how Major-General J.E.B. Stuart jumped a ditch as he escaped from Union forces.

In today’s post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps shows us the high ground south of Hanover used by Stuart’s cavalry to post their artillery.



This map shows the location of where our videos were produced on the Old Hanover Road. Videos #1-#26 were shown in our previous Hanover posts. Videos #27 and #28 were taken south of Hanover in Rest Haven Cemetery. Video #29 was taken on Forney Ridge/Confederate Ridge. Video #30 was taken on the South Hills Golf Course. This map was created facing north at approximately 5:00 PM on Thursday, August 20, 2009.



This map is from John Krepps’ book, A Strong and Sudden Onslaught, The Cavalry Action at Hanover, Pennsylvania. This map shows the United States troops regaining Hanover, and their advance on the Confederates south and southwest of town on June 30, 1863. Union units are shaded a dark color. Confederate units have lines running through them. Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Dave Weaver drew the basic map, and John Krepps drew the troop movements.



This map shows Hanover in 1860. It is known as “Shearer’s Map of York County, 1860: from surveys by D. J. Lake. W. O. Shearer and D. J. Lake, Publishers, Philadelphia.” This map is courtesy of John McGrew of the Pennsylvania Room of the Guthrie (Hanover) Public Library



Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps is the author of the book, A Strong and Sudden Onslaught, The Cavalry Action at Hanover, Pennsylvania. He is standing in Rest Haven Cemetery, and is pointing to the stop sign at Westminster Avenue. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 2:30 PM on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.

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In Video #27 (Videos #1-#26 were shown in our previous Hanover posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps is standing south of Hanover in Rest Haven Cemetery. He shows us the artillery position here near Westminster Avenue, and how a Congressional Medal of Honor was awarded for an action in this area on June 30, 1863. This view was taken facing southwest to north at approximately 2:30 PM on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.



Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps is still standing south of Hanover in Rest Haven Cemetery. Boundary Avenue is at the bottom of the ridge on which the cemetery sits. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 2:30 PM on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.

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In Video #28 Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps is still standing south of Hanover in Rest Haven Cemetery. He gives more detail regarding the Congressional Medal of Honor awarded for an action in this area on June 30, 1863. This view was taken facing north to west at approximately 2:30 PM on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.



John Krepps is standing on Forney Ridge/Confederate Ridge south of Hanover. The Pigeon Hills are in the background. The gap in the hills, above John’s head is where the road from Abbottstown is located. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:45 PM on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.



A closer view of the gap in the Pigeon Hills. The brick buildings are in the town of Hanover. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:45 PM on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.

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In Video #29 John Krepps is standing south of Hanover on Forney Ridge/Confederate Ridge. He shows us why this was an important Confederate artillery position on June 30, 1863. He mentions the Pigeon Hills that don’t show up well in the video, but do show up clearly in the still pictures before this video. This view was taken facing north at approximately 2:45 PM on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.



A photograph of Hanover circa 1900. Although the town had grown signifigantly since 1863, this picture gives an idea of the open nature of the terrain south of town. The view is looking north from the high ground south of town and just west of the Mount Olivet Cemetery. The trees in the foreground are along Beck Mill Road. Confederate artillery would have been slightly to the right of where the photo was taken. You can see the Eichelberger building (postwar structure) with its cupola tower about 1/3 from the left margin, immediately to the right of the dark colored steeple. This would have been the approx. location of Lt. Samuel Elder’s Battery E, 4th U. S. Artillery. Slightly to the west of Elder would have been Lt. Alexander Pennington’s Battery M, 2nd U. S. Artillery. This view was taken facing north circa 1900.



John Krepps is standing on Forney Ridge/Confederate Ridge on the South Hills Golf Course. Mount Pleasant is in the background on the other (west) side of the Homewood Retirement Center. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:45 PM on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.

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In Video #30 Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide John Krepps is standing south of Hanover on the South Hills Golf Course. He shows us the ground of Mount Pleasant. The South Mountains are not visible here or in the still picture before this video. This view was taken facing west at approximately 2:45 PM on Tuesday, August 18, 2009.



John’s book, A Stong and Sudden Onslaught: The Cavalry Action at Hanover, Pennsylvania, was published in 2008 by Colecraft Industries. With index and footnotes it is 166 pages and retails for $14.95. This book was scanned facing south at approximately 8:30 PM on Thursday, June 11, 2009.

To see other posts by Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guides, click here.


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