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Hanover Junction, Free Press 1973, Part 1

Illustration included in the November 1973 Free Press article
Illustration included in the November 1973 Free Press article

Here is another Lincoln at Hanover Junction clipping. Lots of folks have strong feelings about whether the train that took President Lincoln to Gettysburg in November 1863 is shown in the known half dozen or so period photographs of the station. Several of the photos show groups of people on the platform and porch. Even more of a question is: are any of those people the president?

I have been dabbling in research on the subject for many years, and I think there are many unanswered questions. As with any research, the more accounts, documents and photographs we examine, the more apt we are to come closer to the facts. So please share any little tidbit you might know. I can be reached at ycpa89@msn.com. My goal is to gather accounts here for comparison to one another.

Photography wasn’t simple in those days, and I think there was something important going on for these photographs, now in the collections of the Library of Congress and National Archives, to have been taken at all. As far as the individuals at the station, looking at high resolution zooms shared by Civil War historian Scott Mingus, I haven’t as yet seen any that I would identify as Lincoln. (Mingus does a very good slide show on the subject, if you get a chance to see it. He has also included scores of posts on Hanover Junction on his Cannonball blog, some dealing with the photographs.)

The article below was shared by Glen Rock historian John Hufnagel, as he did a previous account. The article below, written by Doris B. Miller, is from the November 22, 1973 Southern York County edition of the Free Press, predecessor of the Community Courier that many of us still receive. At that time community newspapers often carried articles on local history. It is a lengthy article, so I am dividing it into three posts. It begins:


Hanover Junction, today a village of less than 20 houses, has become a part of American history. On November 18, 1863, 110 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln was traveling by railroad to Gettysburg, Pa. to deliver his now well-known Gettysburg Address and on his journey stopped at Hanover Junction.

The President, accompanied by his secretaries, John G. Nicolay and John Hay, left Washington D.C. on the special train comprised of four coaches at noon on Wednesday, November 18, 1863, to travel over the Baltimore & Ohio tracks.

The Lincoln train was decorated with flags and red, white and blue bunting. The rear section of the last car, described as a director’s car, was partitioned off into a drawing room. Here Mr. Lincoln sat and here he was visited by others on the train from time to time.

The first recorded stop occurred at Baltimore at 1:20 p.m. where the railway coach was transferred from the B. & O. Railroad to the Northern Central Railroad. President John W. Garrett and Superintendent William Prescott Smith of the B. & O. and President J.D. Cameron of the Northern Central were among those who met Mr. Lincoln there. As the cars were drawn by horses along Howard and Cathedral Streets and transferred to the Bolton Station of the Northern Central line, crowds cheered the President frequently. A baggage car was added, fitted up as a dining car for those, including the President, who had left Washington without lunch. The train left for Hanover Junction at 2 p.m.

(to be continued)