Gettysburg re-enactment likely to draw thousands Pickett's Charge, Culp's Hill, Little Round Top included in schedule

Perspective on Gettysburg

Gettysburg Re-enactment

June 07, 1998|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Civil War re-enactment organizers are expecting about 15,000 uniformed participants at events marking the 135th anniversary of the decisive battle at Gettysburg next month.

Gettysburg was the largest battle of the Civil War, measured by the number of combatants involved and by what was at stake: control of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. Organizers expect this summer's event to be the largest Civil War battle re-enactment that has ever taken place.

The event will be held at Bushey Farm, two miles southwest of the Gettysburg National Park at the intersection of Bullfrog and Pumping Station roads. This site has never been used for re-enactments.

The first re-enactment vignettes are artillery demonstrations: mortar fire at 10 a.m. and mounted artillery fire at 1 p.m. July 3, followed at 4 p.m. that day by a portrayal of Confederate Maj. Gen. Henry Heth's first encounter with the Union cavalry pickets of Brig. Gen. John Buford and their supporting infantry units at the western edge of Gettysburg.

At 10 a.m. July 4 Confederate Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood's advance on the southern flank will be re-enacted, followed by a cavalry engagement at 1 p.m., the action at Little Round Top and Devil's Den at 2 p.m. and Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell's attack on the northern flank at Culp's Hill at 4 p.m.

Culp's Hill is of special interest to Maryland, because the position was defended by Maryland's 1st Eastern Shore Regiment, 1st Potomac Guard Regiment and 3rd Maryland Regiment and was attacked by the 1st Maryland Confederate Regiment. It was one dramatic place on the battlefield of the Civil War where friends, neighbors and kin faced each other.

The re-enactment will conclude on July 5 with Stuart's Grand Review at 9:30 a.m., the cavalry battle of Fairfield at noon, and Pickett's Charge at 1:30 p.m.

For advance ticket sales, call: 1-800-928-1863.

This event takes place rain or shine, entirely outdoors, in fields and through woodlots, encompassing more than 300 acres. Spectator viewing lines are expected to be nearly three-quarters of a mile in length. It is not possible from any single vantage point to see all aspects of the battle actions being re-enacted. Tickets are required for July 3, 4 and 5 events and are not refundable.

One-day tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for children 6 to 12. Children under 6 are admitted free.

Two-day tickets are $24 for adults and $18 for youth; three-day tickets are $35 and $24.

Work for the re-enactment began last November with a staff of at least 15 people. Don Warlick is manager of the site where a stone wall and fencing were added. George Lomas of Civil War Heritage, one of the event's key organizers, said the site was laid out in such as way that buildings on the site will represent buildings on the actual battlefield.

Amenities, camps and parking are spread onto adjacent properties, with about 12 adjoining landowners signing on, says Lomas. Traffic congestion is being addressed by providing separate roads for re-enactors so they will not cross with spectator traffic.

Zoning officials required Civil War Heritage and Gettysburg Living History, the sponsors, to scale down the event somewhat.

Re-enactor registration closes June 15 and no walk-ons will be allowed, according to the Internet Gettysburg Forum. Registration is $10 per person for anyone over 12. Children must be registered even if they are under 12.

Registration is being conducted at this Internet address: http://www.gettysburg.com/reenactment/regform.htm

Schedule of re-enactment activities

Military schedule

Friday, July 3

* 10 a.m.: Mortar demonstration

* 1 p.m.: Mounted artillery demonstration

* 4 p.m.: First contact: Heth's advance, Buford's stand, Iron Brigade

Saturday, July 4

* 10 a.m.: Hood's advance

* 1 p.m.: Cavalry battle

* 2 p.m.: The Valley of Death

* 4 p.m.: Action at Culp's Hill

Sunday, July 5

* 9:30 a.m.: Stuart's Grand Review

* Noon: Cavalry battle of Fairfield

* 1:30 p.m.: Pickett's Charge

Civilian schedule

Thursday, July 2

* 6 p.m.-7 p.m.: Panel discussion on unit/organization recruitment (tentative)

* 7 p.m.-7:45 p.m.: Civilian Committee meeting (for committee members, speakers and activity participants)

* 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m.: Group regression session for re-enactors, directed by hypnotherapist Barbara Lane, Ph.D.

Friday, July 3

* 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.: "Confederate Substitutions," talk by Virginia Mescher

* 9:30 a.m.-10 a.m.: "History and Fashion of Men's Cravats," talk by Lynn Bull

* 10 a.m.: General Lee speaks on the battle, Lee's Headquarters

* 10 a.m.: General Meade speaks on the battle, Meade's Headquarters

* 10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m.: Civil War-era fashion show narrated by Susan Hughes, editor of Citizen's Companion Magazine

* Noon-1 p.m.: "Civil War Past Lives," regression talk by hypnotherapist Barbara Lane

* 1 p.m.: General Lee speaks on the battle, Lee's Headquarters

* 1 p.m.: General Meade speaks, Meade's Headquarters

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