Another column for my zine.
The Pennsylvanian Civil War: Gettysburg
I unfortunately have never had the chance to witness a battle reenactment at Gettysburg. Last year for my sixteenth birthday, we tried to book a hotel at Gettysburg, but unfortunately my birthday is the fourth of July, and everything was booked for the reenactments and the holiday weekend. However, two years ago when I went the day after my fifteenth birthday, my friend, Asha, and I along with my parents went for a day trip.
The day was a very hot one, so we knew walking around outside would be a grave mistake. We visited many museums including the Visitor’s center that gave a fifteen-minute light show of the three days at Gettysburg. After the show was over, Asha and I walked around the museum looking at weaponry and artifacts. We also wanted to be involved in a Ghost walk at the Farnsworth’s House Inn (the Historical location of the only civilian casualty during the three day event), but could not since it was an evening event. Dad is a good friend with one of the park rangers at Gettysburg, so he gave us a little mini tour of the battlefield, which was so neat. I felt like I was an actual soldier marching to victory.
I visited Gettysburg three months before then with my eighth grade History class. The weather was the exact opposite—damp and rainy. That did not my fun, however. Again, I saw the light show and looked through the museum. I even bought my own copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This time when we went to the parks we actually were given a tour of all the battlefield and Little Round Top. Another park service member showed us the different battle techniques and different ways to charge. That fired my imagination into thinking I was an actual soldier, even while we were on the bus taking the tour of the different locations. It was at that moment I wished I could go back to 1863 and live through Gettysburg.
Gettysburg also has some neat shops, though they are expensive. I wanted a Victorian style dress, but alas I did not have that money. It was a dear amount to pay and if I did have that kind of money I would have bought one on the spot. Once you’re finished with the tour of Historical Gettysburg, go to the Boyd’s Bear Outlet. It’s not only for kids, but also for adults and Civil War buffs a like. They have Civil War styled bears dressed up for the Union or Confederacy. That is a good two hour tour in itself.
If you can get to the reenactments I hear they have some pretty neat tents that goes along with battle. In one tent they have Civil War weddings and in another tent entertainment usually 2nd South Carolina String Band are the performers.