This year was the 150th reenactment celebration of the Battle of Gettysburg, and we made plans months ago to attend with Steve, Cindy, and Eric Thomas. Private campgrounds in the area were charging $700 for the whole week, but we were able to score some sites at Caledonia State Park in Fayetteville for their normal rate of $25 a night. The plot thickened as Caleb and GF Ashley found they were able to attend, and at the last minute I scouted out a hotel room in nearby Hanover for them. Thus, spread out on either side of Gettysburg National Memorial Park we converged on the town (just like the armies 150 years ago!) for the 4th of July!
The 451 mile ride to Caledonia State Park was unhurried with several stops spread out over 9 1/2 hours.
Our plan was to arrive at the reenactment battlefield as the gate opened at 8:30, and dash up the hill to place our chairs on the front for of the roped-off field. There are also two sets of grandstands for seating, but in the broiling sun of July they looked awfully uncomfortable. Our chairs at least had backs and we would be able to use umbrella's for shade up until the battle started.
I am sure there is some type of selection process to select the individuals responsible for carrying out the duties of each significant officer. Certainly, they are well rehearsed in their persona and people make a game of going up and asking questions to try to "stump the officer." Two girls that had recently graduated from West Point asked General Sherman about the "cow incident at West Point" -- he couldn't come up with an answer!
All of the officer quarters were there on display, but most of the officers were off preparing for the battle or presiding over other official duties. Here are some of the wonderful reenactment get-ups and set-ups we saw in the officer's quarters:
That is just a smattering of the Civil War visions up on the hill and one thing was plain to see: those involved in the business of reenactment put lots of time, effort, and money into their hobby. They are passionate about sharing the Civil War experience.
Check back tomorrow and I'll share information about the actual reenactment of some of the battles. All of these Civil War outfits are not just for show -- they are here for real action just as it was 150 years ago.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown