The Battle of Hanover Courthouse

May 27th, 1862
Event ID # BA002430

This engagement is also known as Slash Church and Kinney's farm.

At 4 a. m. the expedition, under command of Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter, left New Bridge to attack the Confederate position at Hanover Court House. At the same time a brigade under Col. Warren left Old Church, its object being to take the
Confederates in flank and rear while Emory's and Morell's brigades attacked his front. At Peake's station, 2 miles from Hanover Court House, Emory's advance of two regiments of cavalry and a battery of light artillery, met the Confederates and immediately engaged him. The 25th N. Y. and Berdan's sharpshooters were deployed as skirmishers under the protection of a section of Benson's battery. A squadron of cavalry and a battery of light artillery were sent to the left on the Ashland road to guard the flank and destroy the railroad, and soon encountered a detachment of the Confederates attempting to outflank the column. Martindale's brigade was sent to reinforce the squadron and Butterfield's brigade was put in position to strengthen the front, advancing rapidly and driving the
Confederates before it. Learning of the location of the enemy's camp Porter sent Martindale up the railroad to get in its rear. In the meantime Warren's command joined the main body, which was put in motion for Hanover Court House. A portion of Warren's cavalry was sent to destroy the bridges over the Pamunkey river, east of the railroad.

The head of the main column had no sooner reached Hanover Court House than it was faced about and hurried back to the former battlefield. Porter had received word that the Confederates were attacking his rear. He found Martindale contending against greatly superior numbers, but upon the attack on his rear and flank by the brigade under Butterfield, the confederates broke and fled, the Federal cavalry
pursuing until darkness put a stop to operations.

The Union losses were 62 killed, 213 wounded, and 70 missing.

The Federal forces buried over 200 Confederate dead and captured some 700 prisoners.

Evidently the GA 49th did not reach the battlefield in time to participate in the battle. No casualties were reported in the regiment.

For additional reading:

This day in Military History
Federal Troops Engaged:

V Corps First Division - BG George W. Morell
V Corps Second Division - BG George Sykes
Bergen's Sharpshooters
MA 5th Artillery Regiment
NY 25th Infantry Regiment
Confederate Troops Engaged:

GA 45th Infantry Regiment
GA 49th Infantry Regiment
NC Latham's Battery (13th Artillery Co. F)
NC 12th Infantry Regiment
NC 37th Infantry Regiment
NC 7th Infantry Regiment
NC 18th Infantry Regiment
NC 28th Infantry Regiment
NC 33rd Infantry Regiment
VA 4th Cavalry (detachment)

Cannon from Latham's battery, captured during the battle of Hanover Court House. Photo taken in the camp of the 17th Michigan.

Battle of Hanover Court House, May 27,1862, at 1:45 P.M. Pencil drawing by an unidentified Union officer present at the battle.

A 12-pounder howitzer gun captured by Butterfield's Brigade during the Peninsular Campaign. It was taken near Hanover Court House, May 27, 1862.

Map of Hanover Courthouse, VA
Source: Civil War Atlas

Source Notes:

Narrative from All the Battles of the Civil War.

Source Notes

Photos from the Library of Congress.

Map images from the Civil War Atlas.


Hardy, Michael C. The Battle of Hanover Court House: Turning Point of the Peninsula Campaign, May 27, 1862 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc.), 2006. ISBN 0-7864-2464-8

Henderson, Lillian. Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia

Rigdon, John C. Historical Sketch and Roster of the North Carolina 37th Infantry Regiment. Powder Springs, GA. Eastern Digital Resources., 2006.

Rigdon, John C. Historical Sketch and Roster of the Georgia 49th Infantry Regiment. Powder Springs, GA. Eastern Digital Resources., 2004.

Rigdon, John C. The Rigdon Family Album. Hillbillies Down Home in America. Powder Springs, GA. Eastern Digital Resources., 2003.