Panic of Hanover–What Happened to Captain Jenifer?
I recently recounted the story of the rumors that swept Hanover, PA of a Confederate invasion on April 22, 1861, when the Civil War was barely a week old.
Click here to read about the Hanover incident told by eyewitness Henrietta Stroman Stair.
Captain W. H. Jenifer, then of the U.S. Army played a prominent part in the confusion. In an article written in 1927, George R. Prowell says that Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtain sent a telegram to Hanover ordering Jenifer’s arrest. He too thought Jenifer was deserting and would relay information to the secessionists.
Jenifer said he was on leave from his post at Carlisle and on his way to visit family in Maryland. According to Prowell, Hanoverians thought instead that the Captain was there to lead “Baltimore rowdies” in sacking their town and were ready to lynch him. He was sent under guard to York and jailed there. Prowell says that Judge Fisher consulted with Governor Curtain by telegram and released him.
Then another order is said to have come from Harrisburg to rearrest him, so Jenifer went to Harrisburg in person to see the governor. His late father, Daniel Jenifer, had been a U.S. congressman from Maryland and ambassador to Austria. The family reputation may have helped convince Governor Curtain to let him go free.
That’s not the end of the story:
According to the U.S. Army’s Center of Military History’s website Jenifer did resign his U.S. commission that April, and by July 1861 was a lieutenant colonel of cavalry with the Confederacy, participating in the Battle of Ball’s Bluff in October.
Click here to read more on Jenifer’s Confederate career.
After the war, Jenifer continued his adventures by serving in the Egyptian army for a couple of years before coming back to Maryland to raise Arabian horses, which he imported with the assistance of the khedive [Turkish viceroy] of Egypt. One of those horses, known as “Jenifer Arabian,” was referred to as one of the most beautiful horses ever known.
Click here to read a teenager’s memory of the Civil War invasion of York County.
Click here for Civil War excitement at the Brogue.
Follow the links below for more Civil War connections with Hanover.
New York Civil War veteran wants Hanover wife.
Confederate sword found in Hanover.