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Gettysburg's 151st - the armies collide again

(6/27) The Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, fought between the forces of Union President Abraham Lincoln and those of the Confederate States of America from July 1 through July 3, 1863, was one of the bloodiest stalemates ever fought by American troops.

For three days, more than 150,000 combatants with the Confederate Army on Northern Virginia, led by General Robert E. Lee, and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General George G. Meade, hammered away at each other in and around the then almost-unheard of village Gettysburg in rural Adams County, Pennsylvania, ultimately leaving behind a trail of destruction that included nearly 35,000 casualties almost equally divided among the two sides.

When the smoke had cleared and the Southern forces began to fall back to Virginia, it took days to count the dead, the bodies of more than 1,000 of which have never been found, and months to burn the horses left behind on the so-called "fields of glory."

Gettysburg ultimately became a Mecca for history buffs and Civil War reenactors. Annual reenactments held on the fields around the borough have spanned decades, even initially having been attended by many of the soldiers – South and North – who fought there.

This year’s reenactment commemorating the 151st anniversary of the battle, sponsored by the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee (GAC), will be held on July 4-6, and will take place at the farm and fields that were employed in the making of the 1993 epic Ronald F. Maxwel movie "Gettysburg."

Regarding the upcoming reenactment, GAC stated, "After the pace and scope of the 150th Gettysburg Anniversary, Gettysburg 2014 promises to be a more personal quality event at a spectacular site... and we are very, very excited about it."

The event is open to the public beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day, with the daily program packed with living history, lectures, demonstrations, and the invariably associated battle reenactments.

As far as combat simulations, the recreation of the first day’s battle, Action at McPherson Ridge, will take place at 6 p.m. on July 4. On July 5, the reenactment of Farnsworth’s Fatal Charge will be held at 11 a.m., and the Bloody Harvest – The Wheatfield fight will be held at 5 p.m. On July 6, the Stuart-Custer cavalry engagement will be held at 11 a.m., and Pickett’s Charge will begin at 2:30 p.m.

There is an admission fee to attend the event. For more on the even schedule, visit the GAC web site at

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