LOCATION: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
This post is part of my Gettysburg Trip Series.
The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the largest in the Civil War. It was fought across vast amounts of fields in Pennsylvania and through towns. Being the biggest battle, it seemed appropriate to see my first Civil War reenactment here. Considering it was the big 150th anniversary celebration made it an added bonus.
Reenactors came from all over the world to participate and there were about 13,000 actors here. They recreated all the battles on one main open field, complete with lots of live canon fire.
The battle we went to the first day was the battle of Thundering Hell: Defending East Cemetery Hill. We had great viewing spots up front, but unfortunately the battles were way off in the tree line and too far to see anything other than little specs marching. However, we were next to the canons and were able to watch them load and fire. The experience being so far away left very little to be desired and we were all a little disappointed.
On the second day we went to Picket’s Charge. This was the assault by Confederates against the Union line on Cemetery ridge. The battle ended with the Union’s charge against the Confederates Army, producing great losses and causing the Confederates to retreat. This reenactment was pretty impressive to view. After a 30 minute canon firing session, the Confederate Army stormed out of the tree line and rushed towards the Union side.
It was interesting to see guns fire and immediately have to reload, men dropping to the ground in pain and men fighting up close. You could really see the Union overcome the Confederacy and the devastation caused from it. It was interesting to bring history to life and made for a great learning experience.
*Thanks Troy and Dad for accompanying me on this adventure.
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN? It was interesting to see. I wouldn’t say I HAVE to do it again, but I wouldn’t mind.
HOW TO DO THIS: This was the major reenactment for the 150th anniversary. However, they do annual reenactments every year.
Reenactment info: http://www.gettysburgreenactment.com