Back from Gettysburg - from 150th events

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 04, 2013 10:58 AM GMT
    A great trip indeed. I had been there about a dozen times before (about half for - flog me - going out with a friend to shop the relatively quiet outlet stores in December away from crowds) but this time I went out Tuesday and returned late last evening giving me a full day and a half. The culmination ofthe trip was participating in "Picketts March" not charge this time for re-enactors and tourists alike. The NPS (Nat'l Park Service) folks helped arrange various contingents as they would have been located yesterday exactly 150 years ago. We marched across the very field (quite a challenging terrain with knee high grass, brambles, dry runs - the stream kind! - and the like) at the exact time as Pickett's famous charge at 3PM that fateful day. Even though I'm a Northerner I marched with the "other side" to get a feel for the mile long trek in the 87 degree heat. The ones who didnt break a sweat were the Union lines at the top of Cemetary Ridge behind a stone fence watching us advance. Frightful to think young boys in their late teens and early and mid 20s were the primary combatants in the war and these Rebs had to march that mile with shells and bullets, smoke and noise all around! No trees or crevices to hide. 12,500 Confederates started that charge, over half perished. An actual re-enactment with horses, cannon, etc will be held on July 7th, but since NPS will not allow those elements on the hallowed ground, it will take place at a nearby farm. We marched the actual field yesterday. Link:'s_Charge
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    Jul 04, 2013 1:02 PM GMT
    I envy you. Tragic & fascinating history. I had family who fought in the Civil War, including one who was never heard from again, his fate never learned. Casualties weren't always found, or when they finally were, identification might not be made. Civil War cemeteries contain many "Unknowns", their families forever unaware what happened to them.

    As part of my Command & General Staff College (C&GSC) work I did some research on Gettysburg, as thousands of Army Officers before me have done. Plus wrote a study of CSA Lt. General Longstreet at the battle, one of the first "modern" generals, contrasted against his commander General Lee, whose outdated Napoleonic tactics at Gettysburg are believed by some to have contributed to the disastrous Southern defeat.

    I'm curious to hear your opinion (and those of others) about the NPS policy to ban reenactments on the Gettysburg battlefield. I'm not sure using the same ground would be wrong. And no doubt your respect for those soldiers would have been greater had you been on that field with the noise & smoke of simulated cannon and rifle fire all around you, incredibly worse if shells were actually exploding.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16308

    Jul 04, 2013 2:00 PM GMT
    Sounds awesome indeed! Being a Civil War buff and would have enjoyed all the events at Gettysburg this year. Appreciate your report.. Happy 4th!