President Lincoln at Hanover Junction?

In 1838 the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad constructed a line from Baltimore, Maryland north to York Pennsylvania. In 1851 the Hanover Branch Railroad began construction of a line westward to Hanover from the Baltimore and Susquehanna main line. It opened in 1852, and the point where it connected with the Baltimore and Susquehanna was named Hanover Junction. It is located approximately 46 miles north of Baltimore and 11 miles south of York. It is 13 miles from Hanover, and 29 miles from Gettysburg.

The Hanover Branch Railroad was originally operated by the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad, but the Hanover Branch Railroad began running its own trains in 1855, when the Baltimore and Susquehanna was reorganized to become the Northern Central Railroad. The Gettysburg Railroad constructed a line from Gettysburg to Hanover that was completed in 1858.

During the Civil War, Hanover Junction was strategically important. Besides being a railroad junction, it was a major telegraph dispatch station during the war. Confederate Cavalry, the 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry or “White’s Comanches,” occupied Hanover Junction on June 27, 1863, and destroyed some railroad property at Hanover Junction before moving north to York. Fortunately the railroad station and the Hotel survived the raid. Wounded from the Battle of Gettysburg traveled through Hanover Junction on the way to hospitals in larger cities. On November 18, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln briefly got out at Hanover Junction on the way to Gettysburg to dedicate the Soldiers National Cemetery. He also came through Hanover Junction on the way back to Washington on November 19, 1863. Lincoln’s funeral train, on its way from Baltimore to Harrisburg, passed through Hanover Junction on April 21, 1865 at 5:55 PM.

When Lincoln was moving on the North Central line north from Baltimore, he was scheduled to meet Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin at Hanover Junction. Curtin was traveling south from Harrisburg. Curtin’s train was late, and Lincoln got out to stretch his legs. Three photographs were supposedly taken of the President on the platform in his top hat. Other scholars believe this person is not Lincoln, but Ward Lamon on November 17, 1863 when he was also delayed at Hanover Junction.  Three pictures were taken of this event.

The third picture (featured) has Lincoln/Lamon standing to the right of the locomotive, and underneath the left window of the train station. Lincoln finally tired of waiting for Curtin, and went on to Gettysburg without Pennsylvania’s Governor.

Used from the Gettysburg Daily.