the Battle of Gettysburg Resource Center
The First Soldier Killed at Gettysburg
|To George W. Sandoe goes the dubious
"honor" of being the first Union soldier killed at Gettysburg. Sandoe was
a member of Company B. Indpt. 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry. Upon arriving at Gettysburg
June 26th 1863, General Gordon (Confederate 2nd Corps, Early's Division) sent out a picket
line on the Baltimore Pike. As these pickets reached the Nathaniel Lightner property,
Sandoe along with William Lightner, also a member of Company B, aproached the Pike,
coming across the McAllister field from the direction of Rock creek. Owing to a growth of
bushes and trees along the fence, they did not discover the Confederate pickets until they
were ordered to halt. Lightner at once jumped his horse across the fence and escaped by
riding rapidly down the pike. Sandoe's horse fell in making the leap, and in attempting to
escape by riding back in the direction from which he came, Sandoe was shot and killed.
This incident occurred four days before General Buford's troopers arrived at Gettysburg, and five days before the "official" start of the battle. Sandoe lies buried at Mount Joy Church, in Mount Joy, Adams County Pennsylvania.
last revised 10/02/04