J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Happy 4th of July!

This weekend marks the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Every year, a reenactment takes place in the town, and this weekend is no exception. Thousands of reenactors from all over the country participate with authentic clothing and weaponry. They camp out over the weekend in Civil War tents, and even dance in a period ball, complete with ladies dressed in beautiful gowns. Battles are staged, and living history demonstrations are performed.

There are a number of vendors selling their wares during the three-day event, and period musicians perform as well. The event is similar to a Reinassance Festival, except that it revolves around the Civil War instead. This year, 72,000 reenactors signed up to participate. There are also around 100 cannons and 400 horses (cavalry) involved. The presentation is spectacular, and gives spectators a glimpse at what fighting during a Civil War battle was really like.

The Battle of Gettysburg took place July 1-3, 1863, when Union forces, coming from the south, collided with Southern troops travelling from the north in search of shoes (a shoe factory was in town). After the first day of battle, General Robert E. Lee’s Confederates were victorious, but by the end of the third day, and Pickett’s infamous Charge, the battle was considered to be a draw. It wasn’t until several days later that Union General Meade’s Army of the Potomac learned they had won the fight. The battle was a pivotal one in that, from that time until April 1865, the Union army started winning battles, and ultimately, won the war.

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