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140th Civil War Reenactment at Gettysburg - Delayed
Annual Gettysburg Reenactment 140th Anniversary ^ | June 10, 2003 | The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee

Posted on 06/10/2003 5:44:44 PM PDT by Core_Conservative

June 10, 2003

TO: News Media FROM: Gettysburg Anniversary Committee

RE: High Priority - 140th Gettysburg Anniversary Battle Reenactment Rescheduled

Due to the record-breaking wet weather in the Northeast from last fall through this spring and concern for the safety and health of the reenactors, spectators, farmers, and the community, and in consultation with Federal Commander, General Dr. David L. Valuska, and Confederate Commander, General James W. Maupin, the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee has made the decision to reschedule the 140th Gettysburg Anniversary Battle Reenactment, originally scheduled for July 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2003.

This decision was reached after extensive consultation with state and local emergency management officials, and after reviewing the extremely wet turf conditions. These conditions make it impossible to access the site, or to finalize preparations for the site and infrastructure necessary for the event. Additionally, the National Weather Service 15-day forecast does not show significant relief from the current conditions. There are few, if any, sites on the east coast that would be capable of handling an event of this scope and size under the current weather conditions. It was determined that the only reasonable, responsible and prudent course of action was to reschedule the event to August 8th, 9th, and 10th, 2003. This decision to reschedule the event was made with serious regard to planning, public safety and protecting the integrity of this much-anticipated and significant national event.

Cumberland Township Chief of Police, Barry Sease stated "given the current weather outlook and current turf conditions, the decision made by the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee Organizers was the right decision for public safety."

Event Operations Director Randy Phiel stated "after analyzing the current weather and turf conditions and looking at the 15 day National Weather forecast it is time to be both practical and pragmatic. Farmers are two weeks from even getting into their fields under absolutely ideal conditions. We owe it to the local community, visitors and reenactors to be realistic and to act responsibly. That is one of the values of having local folks organize this event. We fully understand this will cause significant inconvenience to various individuals but sometimes you just have to play the cards you are dealt and be responsible to all three of these groups. This will still be a very well attended national event by re-scheduling it to August 8th, 9th and 10th.

The principal event landowner, David Redding, has stated that he had never experienced any May and June like this in his 53 years of farming. His 85-year-old uncle who farms nearby confirms he has never experienced this kind of spring in his lifetime. Crop farmers are in an extremely critical situation and are at least several weeks away, under extremely ideal conditions, from being able to access their fields to plant or harvest. There is a serious hay shortage as a result.

Reenactments are not the only weather victim this spring. This abnormal weather pattern has consistently caused canceled events, has waterways overflowing their banks, has flooded basements and has prevented homeowners from mowing their lawns.

The 140th Gettysburg Anniversary Battle Reenactment is highly anticipated with thousands of reenactors from across the country and around the world, extensive pyrotechnics, hundreds of horses, 100 cannons, large living history areas, over 100 sutlers and two major battles each day. The organizers fully understand that this date change may impact individual schedules. As a result, the following information is being provided:

· Civil War Heritage Days in Gettysburg are Friday, June 27 thru Sunday July 6, 2003. Check back for details on this ongoing event.

· National Park Service Living History activities are ongoing each day. See for schedules and details.

· Information on additional Gettysburg activities can be found on

· Tickets purchased for this July will be honored for that same day on August 8, 9, & 10.

· Visitors not able to reschedule any one day will have that day credited for any day of next year's event on July 2, 3 & 4, 2004. Those persons already having purchased tickets will be sent correspondence with specific instructions.

To insure the widest possible dissemination of this schedule change, this notice is being provided to the media and, the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee web site,, is also being updated. In addition to media outlets being notified, registered reenactors and advance ticket purchaser's are also being notified by The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee.

We sincerely appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we strive to maintain the integrity of this national event for reenactors, visitors, and the community. Although the event has been rescheduled, The 140TH Gettysburg Battle Anniversary Reenactment remains a significant event of national scope anxiously anticipated by visitors, reenactors, spectators and people of all ages wanting to see those dusty old history books come alive!

Sincerely, The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee


To purchase official 140th Anniversary Merchandise and Commemorative T-Shirts please visit To learn more about other things to do while in Gettysburg, visit OR call the Travel Council (Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau) at 717-334-6274

TOPICS: Announcements; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; US: Pennsylvania; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: civilwar; dixie; gettysburg; history; reenacting; reenactment
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Hells Bells
1 posted on 06/10/2003 5:44:44 PM PDT by Core_Conservative
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To: Core_Conservative
So far here in the Keystone state, at least up here in the Allegheny Highlands, weather has been running six or seven weeks behind normal.
2 posted on 06/10/2003 6:14:13 PM PDT by Petronski (I"m not always cranky.)
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To: Core_Conservative
Can we have a 140th anniversary of the Draft Riots in New York?
3 posted on 06/10/2003 6:36:33 PM PDT by rmlew ("Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.")
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To: rmlew
4 posted on 06/10/2003 6:45:29 PM PDT by Im Your Huckleberry
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To: rmlew
I may just riot anyway - I can't go in August. The dates WERE perfect, as I work for the Auto Companies - and am forced to take a vacation the first 2 weeks of July! I'm just miffed! - I'll get over it!
5 posted on 06/10/2003 6:52:18 PM PDT by Core_Conservative (Prayer for those who Serve our Country - Pray for our President for the Wisdom of Solomon)
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To: Im Your Huckleberry; Core_Conservative
Come over to NYC and bring 1000 Freepers of Irish descent.
Last time, they were unable to burn the NY Times building because Greely had placed gatling guns on the roof. I doubt the Ochs-Sulzberger clan will do so.
Of course, we will have to change teh bit about sacing the homes of Republicans to RINOs.
6 posted on 06/10/2003 7:34:20 PM PDT by rmlew ("Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.")
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To: Petronski
Here in the Phila suburbs it's also abysmal on the weather front. It's lush and green, but it seems like we'll all just mildew away from the rain. I've only had the heat turned off for about 3 days this year, and our pool membership is starting to look like a colossal mistake. How the kids will swim at camp in 10 days, I have no idea. They'll turn into popsicles. After the droughts of recent summers, our trees and groundwater need the break, but we humans are ready for summer!
7 posted on 06/10/2003 7:40:02 PM PDT by Think free or die
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To: Think free or die
Well, I don't want to think about a Philadelphia summer, and so far this weather suits me exactly.

But on behalf of all the normal people, let's have some summer already!

8 posted on 06/10/2003 7:51:17 PM PDT by Petronski (I"m not always cranky.)
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To: Petronski
There's always a bumber crop of summertime in Texas. I wish there were a way to work a trade.
9 posted on 06/11/2003 12:27:59 AM PDT by BradyLS
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To: billbears; aomagrat; stainlessbanner; 4ConservativeJustices; GOPcapitalist
10 posted on 06/11/2003 6:14:16 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Constitution Day; vetvetdoug
Thanks for the ping CD.
11 posted on 06/11/2003 6:58:16 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
You're welcome... I only heard last night @ my SCV meeting.
12 posted on 06/11/2003 7:00:27 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Core_Conservative
This is a perfect example of a reenactment site not suited in the event of rain. Two reenactments I organized I made sure there were gravel roads in and out of the site with enough planning for a disaster if it rained. A couple of years ago they had a reenactment at Shiloh where no allowance was made in the case it rained; it came a flood and some folks were a week getting out of the quagmire. Alternate plans in the event of rain are a must for large reenactments; those that were held and it rained were financial disasters for the organizers, especially those that depended upon the gate or visitor receipts for reimbursement of event expenses. It was not sunny every day of the Civil War and many battles were in adverse weather situations and were a contributing factor to the victory and defeat of many an army. Changing a date for a reenactment signals to me that these organizers were betting upon the weather being good and were not prepared for adverse weather. I wonder how many other aspects of the enactment are up in the air and left to chance?
13 posted on 06/11/2003 9:45:44 AM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: Think free or die
This weather has seriously bummed me out. We haven't had two sunny days in a row since snow was on the ground. Every weekend during this spring has been a washout. I've had to take a couple days off from work just to know what it's like to be in my yard when the sun is shining. I haven't gone swimming once and it hasn't even been warm enough to wear shorts. Over Memorial Day weekend, we had our heat turned on - in the daytime! It's ridiculous.

Yesterday was a perfect day for a change - 100% sun and 79 degrees. But today, we are right back in the clouds and rain. And now they are calling for a "soaking rain storm" for Friday and Saturday. Maybe, just maybe, the sun will come out on Sunday. But then it will be cold, with a high only in the lower 60s. I'm going to Alabama a week from Friday and this time, I'm not going to complain about the Dixie heat.

BTW, we still got the eco-nuts around here telling us we can't water our lawn and that we need to conserve water. Are you kidding me? If I was stupid enough to water my lawn in all this constant rain, my yard would turn into a lake.

14 posted on 06/11/2003 10:15:31 AM PDT by SamAdams76 (Back in boot camp! 268 (-32))
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To: Core_Conservative
Dammit. Damned rain.

Must be Pickett's revenge or sumpin' like that.....

15 posted on 06/11/2003 10:46:10 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Kim Jong Il had ANOTHER bad underwear day . He found "decapitate" in his English-Korean dictionary.)
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To: SamAdams76
Sounds familiar! My husband just mowed the front lawn for the first time this season about a week ago. It needed mowing before then, but all the rainy weekends and evenings precluded yard work. We had a break yesterday, but clouds rolled in overnight. Sigh.

I've made a point of mentioning global warming to my kids this spring. May as well immunize them against some of the more extreme indoctrination by letting them use their own powers of observation.

16 posted on 06/11/2003 10:59:34 AM PDT by Think free or die
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To: Core_Conservative
The 125th Reenactment organizers (Gettysburg) were alleged to have run off with tens of thousands of dollars and didn't pay several vendors for services rendered for the 125th Reenactment. These same event organizers stiffed folks in North Georgia for thousands of dollars for the Chicamauga event that same year; many reenactors donated money to pay the locals that were cheated out of their money during and after that event. That event was rained on by a little hurricaine called Frederick. I am skeptical of any reenactment that is affected severely by inclement weather (especially if it is three weeks before the event).
17 posted on 06/11/2003 12:49:59 PM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: Core_Conservative

Gee whiz, Pards; looks like "GettysBog Revisited"!

My plans for GB were pretty much already kiboshed by Daughter's Wedding planned for the following weekend.
Domestic Management admonished us; "Don't even THINK about going to Gettysburg!"

I would like to try and attend in August if a number of my Unit, the 3rdMaine were going, since I'm already registered - but in reality am not holding out high hopes of it.

This was going to be my "Last Hurrah" for "Big Elephant" events; they can be a lot of fun for sure, and some of my fondest memories of reenacting were formed at some of them.

The past few I have attended, however, have been a somewhat mixed experience;

Long lines at registration tables - temperatures exceeding 100 degrees with humidity to match... the focus of the event seemingly as much on enduring and staying alive through it as it was in experiencing the "Living History" of the event or giving the Spectators a good show for their money.

I'm all for "authenticity" - within reason - and it surely was not all easy going for the "Old Boys" of 1861-5.
But I draw the line at "really dying" 600 miles from home, or even being hospitalized with heat stroke or some other injury or illness for that matter.

Some of the Battle scenarios have been great and unique to the Big Elephants - like seeing a mounted Artillery Battery and team- drawn field pieces and limbers at a full gallop, or a Troop of mounted Cavalry at the Saber Charge...
Or having the bone-rattling pot-charges going off and the bark-mulch "shrapnel" falling all around you.... Marching onto the field to the rattle of thousands of rifles and the thunder of full Batteries of Artillery opening up, under our proud Battle Colors snapping in the breeze with the Field Music (that's US!) striking up a noble Martial air as clouds of pungent battle-smoke roll over us....

But on several occasions just when the mystical and cherished "Time Bubble" seems to envelop me again, I turn around...

And theres' the Commander on his horse, jabbering into a walkie-talkie radio. What's he up to - calling in an air strike?

Or the 50-ish balding guy with the ponderous beer-gut standing there in his Cowboy outfit, complete with boots, spurs, ten-gallon hat, crossed bandoliers and brace of ivory-handled revolvers in quick-draw holsters. Shucks; bring on the bloomin' Indians; let's ALL play!

Or the circa 400-lb. "Foreign Observer" we've all seen trapsing around reenactments with that utterly ludicrous costume of his.
You know; the red, white, and green striped 20" wide banner wrapped around his copious midsection, half an ostrich worth of plumes wafting in the breeze from his resplendant Napoleon Bonaparte hat, and at least a stone and a third of shiney bejeweled jingledy-clinks sparkling in the sun hung all over him.

One time he came lumbering through the 3rd Maine's Camp, and I remarked to my Messmates;
"Glory, Boys!!; Look yonder; The Circus has come to camp! Why, here's the Clown now; surely the elephants can't be far behind!"

Wife ("Aunt Mah'tha"), of course, was suitably appalled and embarrased (one of the more regular features of our 30+ year relationship), so I explained that if this bulbous buffoon were to come waddling unescorted through a camp of the Army of the Potomac in 1863, he'd have gotten a much more colorful and clamorous spontanious reception than that, you can be sure!

She does not reenact any more. The heat got to her about 3 Gettysburgs ago, and besides, none of her dresses fit any more.
Now, when (and if) I don the old "Union Blues" and take to the field (or Classroom for an "Educational Outreach" Detail), I go alone.
Just as well, I suppose; she'd be embarassed as hell if she knew what "Chuckie" (my aerosol can-of-cheese-loaded Rubber Chicken Mascot) and I were up to!

Another thing we see a lot of on the reenactment Battlefield - guys toting TV cameras or video cams about the size of a steamer trunk around on their shoulder in the middle of a pitched battle. I know that money is to be made on sales of the commemerative video of the event, but c'mon' can't they at least be a little subtle about it?

How weird is it to have to stop the "battle" for a Huey Medi-Vac helicoptor with a big red cross on the side to come whoppetty-whopping down between the lines of blue and gray to "dust off" a wounded or heat-struck combattant? I suppose after having all of those golf-carts whizzing in and out of the fray we get sort of used to it. I don't think anyone has an authentic civil War Army ambulance with horses to pull it, and the only authentic replica stretcher I've seen is the one I'm making - and it's not finished yet. There might be a couple with the Surgeon's displays in camp, but I've never seen one in the field, much less being used.

If I ever get kicked into the middle of next Wednesday by some particularly nervous horse (and it has nearly happened a couple of times) or some such unlucky event during a sham battle, I want my carcass to be carted off by uniformed Stretcher-Bearers on a regulation, period authentic stretcher, or at least a couple of muskets with a blanket rigged between them, as was commonly done during the Real McCoy.

Of course with predatory Trial Lawyers ever circling potential sources of litigation, that would never do with insurers I suppose, so we must continue to dodge golf-carts, ambulances, and Huey Dustoffs as we skirmish.

Since, I suppose, most if not all of those flagrant and absurd "Farbieisms" are edited out of the official videotape, a more authentic reenactment experience might be had by just ordering and watching one of these in the comfort of our own Home while burning a little sulfur insence, thus saving a lot of time, discomfort and expense.

But then there is the comaraderie around the campfire - if it isn't under water and mud in a torrential downpour, of course, and provided that someone remembered to bring the wood - and sleeping under the stars.

One Antietam we were seranaded all night long with the roaring deisel engine and "Beep-beep-beep..."ing backup alarm of a huge yellow bucket-loader that was trying to extricate vehicles out of a quagmire of mud someone had passed off as a "parking lot". Our tents lit up brilliantly with a lovely orange flash about once a second in time to the stobe lights on the roof of said earthmoving equipment which added a nearly psychedelic effect to the spectacle.

The next Morning the rain let up, the sun came out, and it was about 103 in the steam which rose like phantoms out of the Virginia mud.

The Heavy equipment gave us a break that night, but the Rebels in a nearby Camp let there be no doubt whatsoever as to what a good time they were having, regailing us to fife, drum, and enthusiastic song nearly until sunrise.
And the drunker they got, the louder they hollered, fifed, and hammered away on those drums.
I must give them credit, though; even when nearly too intoxicated to walk upright, they were pretty darned good Musicians!

Of course there were the times we were assigned camp sites close to "Hoople City", or "Sutler's Row"; Shoppers paradise to be sure, but something about the smell of frying kielbassa and cotton candy by day and the gasoline generators and halogen lights running through the night don't contribute much to the period ambiance.

I never plan on sleeping much at a big reenactment, anyway.

Of course it's always nice if I can rely on someone else to drive the 12 or 13 hours back to Maine when the fun is over, after getting only about an hour's semi-sleep (and that while lying "dead" on the field of Honor while the relatively quiet battle raged around my slowly bloating corpse) over the preceeding two or three days.

Who can forget the ubiquitous blue plastic "Porta-Sinks"?

After about the second day when it's 100+ (as it usually seems to be down there in the Summer) it's more like "Porta-STINKS"! It must be hot enough in one of those things to roast a turkey!

It's probably a good thing that most of us have the "Virginnie quickstep" to one extent or another after about the first day, as one would not want to be forced to linger by a prolonged bodily function any more than absolutely neccessary in one of those infernal contraptions!

And pity the poor Ladies in "hoops"! If those things don't cure the darlings from flouncing around camp as if they were in the middle of a High-Society Boston Ballroom, I don't know what will.

Don't you love rolling out of the dog-tent at about 0530 hours to the spectacle of six lines of about a hundred reenactors each lined up in the Morning mist at the only six porta-sweat-lodges within a half-mile of Camp?
... And the Skirmish Line of brave stalwarts moving slowly out through the tall grass behind them seeking a "target of opportunity"?

Yes; those big top events can be a lot of fun... but Iv'e found over the past few that I've been able to attend, that you'd best bring along with your trusty "kit" lots of fortitude, a fair amount of money, and a robust sense of humor!

(And don't plan on getting much sleep!)

"Uncle Jaque", Fifer
3rd Maine Vol. Inf.
Reg'tl. Field Music
18 posted on 06/11/2003 9:36:25 PM PDT by Uncle Jaque (Rev. III:11; "Behold, I come quickly; Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.")
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To: Uncle Jaque
It sound to me like you really love the hobby. I love the research, the smell of black powder. I am beginning to hate all the politics between units. I am in the 2nd United States Sharp Shooters Co B. We are treated almost like second class citizens, even though during the war were used as special forces. First in - last out - and a lot of the time shot to ribbons. We are starting to get more respect now, which is a good thing. But my body grows weary - too many years of destroying my lungs with cigarette smoke. I may just go to be one of them citizens - preferably with a limp (I don't have to act much for that anymore) - a kane and a beautiful woman at my side. Now that's the way to spend a weekend. I can still smell the powder, without most of the misery!
19 posted on 06/12/2003 6:16:58 PM PDT by Core_Conservative (Prayer for those who Serve our Country - Pray for our President for the Wisdom of Solomon)
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To: Core_Conservative
Four Companies (about 100 men) of The 1st. US Sharpshooters were engaged with the 3rd Maine in a Skirmish line against 3 Alabama Regiments (8th,10th, and 11th) at Pitzer's Woods at GB, 2nd Day.

We had a couple of guys doing a 2nd USSS impression up here for a while - at one of the bigger events the Brigade Commander ordered the one who had promoted himself to Captain to take a detached Company of Infantry into the line - but this "Captain" didn't have clue #1 about Hardee's, Scotts, or any other system of tactics of the period for that matter, nor any idea how to lead a Squad of Infantry, much less a Company.

He was promptly marginalized by the Union Reenacting Community for his vain, egocentric, pretentious incompetence, and probably shared his stigma with everybody else that has a SS impression, unfortunately.

It was this sort of thing, we understand, that led to the rule at most major events that the only "Officers" allowed onto the field had to be functioning competently in that position as part of an established Line Company or assigned to Brigade / Division Command by the event hosts.
No more "walk-on", self-promoted sham shoulder boards allowed.

Now the incompetent "phony" Officers are easy to spot. They are the ones pacing back and forth in front of the Spectator bleachers, chewing cigars, and trying to look important.
Generally, anyone appearing on the Field as an Officer lately, knows what they are doing - and it's a better and safer event for it IMHO.

Another reason we might not see all that many people doing the SS impression is the cost of those Sharp's Rifles; well over a grand for an authentic replica, aren't they?
Historically, a lot of them used the regular issue M-1861 Springfield rifle musket even after the Sharpe's were regular issue.
20 posted on 06/12/2003 7:34:20 PM PDT by Uncle Jaque (Rev. III:11; "Behold, I come quickly; Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.")
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