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160th anniversary of the Battle Of Gettysburg

This year the battle of Gettysburg celebrates its 160th anniversary. The battle that changed the outcome of the Civil War, and shaped the nation we are today. This event is not only one of the most important occurrences in American history. It is also one of the most important historic events in the entire western hemisphere. The dates of July 1st to July 3rd 1863, are tattooed on the soul of America. Approximately 160,000 Americans fought in simmering heat, on both sides. Around 51,000 died in these 3 days. All dying for what they thought was a just cause, depending on their beliefs. It was the bloodiest violent event on American soil, ever. Without getting too much into the inner workings and "politics" of events and organizers who held Gettysburg re-enactments in the past, let us just state the fact that there is a "New Kid On The Block". And while we all appreciate each and every event that is held nationwide, and in Gettysburg in particular, we can't deny that civil war re-enactments have been decimated. In both, number of events, and participants. The societal changes in perception, but also the Covid Pandemic, that erased many events for 2+ years, have caused a major hit to our hobby. A hobby that we love dearly. A hobby, that is also very important, to keep American history alive and tangible. And last, but not least, we need to honor the sacrifices of all that fought, on either side. Luckily, we see a new generation showing interest. Slowly, but steadily. We see new members joining our ranks. Younger ones, older ones. Men, women, families. People that understand all that was written above, but also appreciate time away from our busy lives. Away from electronic gadgets, game consoles, or the TV. But instead, not only living and portraying history, but also enjoying fun and camaraderie, in camp, around the fire, and on the battlefields. Based on that spirit, that "New Kid On The Block", is the PCWA ( Patriots of the Civil War Association). They present a new idea on how a Gettysburg re-enactment could be done in a different way. While there are TWO 160th Gettysburg events (PCWA June 21-25, 2023) and GBPA (Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association) June 30st to July 2nd , we would like to highlight the PCWA event, because they promised to do things differently than anybody else. But what does that mean? What do they think they can do better, or different? Many in the re-enactor community have been closely following their Facebook page. A lot of information on there. A lot of support, but also critical voices. What can be absolutely confirmed, is that the team around PCWA President Dustin Heisey is putting in a lot of effort. From an entire "People Of Baltimore Street" living history, to portraying all major battles of the event, to creating a battlefield, that contains many of the "actual" elements, such as the "Chambersburg Pike", the "Stone Wall" and others. But the PCWA also wants to set other standards. Impression, camps, spectators close to the actual action on the battlefield, instead of a bleacher seats. I wanted to find out and interviewed Dustin Heisey. Here are 30 interesting minutes for you:


DISCLAIMER: the 4th Mayland Light Artillery participates in BOTH EVENTS. PCWA (Patriots of the Civil War Association) June 21-25, 2023) and GBPA (Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association, @ Daniel Lady Farm) June 30st to July 2nd

The GBPA played an important role keeping re-enacting alive during the very difficult Covid years, putting on events on Daniel Lady Farm, when others ceased operation. The GBPA is one of the oldest organizations putting on re-enactments. The atmosphere and scenery on the Daniel Lady farm, including a field hospital from the actual battle, even with carvings from soldiers being treated there, is very unique! Please support them by getting info and tickets here: www.gbpa.org/event/160th-battle-gettysburg-anniversary The NEW PCWA event can be reached here, for a completely new experience, no matter if you are a re-enactor, or a spectator, please visit: www.thepcwa.org The BEST thing you could do, would be attending BOTH events. As a re-enactor, or a spectator. KEEPING AMERICAN HISTORY ALIVE MATTERS!

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