Roads to Gettysburg
Late in June 1863, the Union Army of the Potomac pursued Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia as it invaded the North less than a year after the Antietam Campaign. On Monday, June 29, the Federal corps marched north toward Pennsylvania on parallel roads like the fingers of a glove, after being ordered to stay between Lee and the large Northern cities.
Gen. John F. Reynolds led I Corps west of Frederick on Emmitsburg Road (present-day U.S. Rte. 15), while Gen. Oliver O. Howard and XI Corps tramped Old Frederick Road to Emmitsburg. Commanding Gen. George G. Meade, with III and XII Corps and the artillery reserve moved on what is now Rte. 194, Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock's II Corps and Meade's V Corps (soon placed under Gen. George Sykes) marched norteastward along present-day Rte. 26 to Liberty and Unionville. Gen. John Sedgwick's VI Corps, which guarded the army's right flank, moved by here to Mount Airy and Westminster, reaching Manchester on June 30. The next day, the corps began an epic 34-mile march to Gettysburg and arrived late in the afternoon of July 2.
A soldier in the 37th Massachusetts Infantry, VI Corps, later wrote that on entering New Market, "two or three young ladies were discovered standing in front of their home waving small Union flags. It was an electrifying sight, and the enthusiasm which had pervaded the troops in advance was emphasized from the strong throats of the Thirty-seventh. There was no question now that they were in the land of friends.