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150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

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The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the American Civil War. Many historians agree that it was on these hallowed grounds that our nation was saved. Join us this year for the many Civil War events planning during the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

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The largest industry in Adams County saw a 3% increase in growth in 2012.  Tourism was on the rise ahead of the historic 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Nancy Gudmestad is the director of the Shriver House Museum.  She helps people step back into the 1860′s.  She says an economic downturn in 2010 did nothing to boost business.  But 2012 told a different story.  She says, “I heard from a lot of teachers that they had not been to Gettysburg before but we were approaching that big year and they wanted their students to experience it.”

Visiting the bucket list destination of the Civil War is what tourists did ahead of the historic 150th Anniversary.

Norris Flowers, president of the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau says, “There were other events with other destinations like Manassas in 2012, so visitors from around the country were going there in the area and came to Gettysburg to see it.”

Flowers says 2012′s visitor spending was $629 million.  That helped grow employment to 7,350 people in the county.

Flowers says, “It created more tax dollars, so municipalities, state and federal government received more money, business received more revenue and they were able to hire more people in preparation for 2013.”

It’s growth Nancy needs to restore her privately funded museum.  She says, “”The way we sustain this museum is people walking through the door, going on a tour and supporting our museum.”

Nancy also employed two more people in 2012.  She now has 14 workers.  2013 numbers will not be available until December.  But officials expect around $750 million in spending.

Local News
07/07/13

Beating the heat in Gettysburg

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Another steamy day for the people at the battlefield.

Re-enactors wear authentic 1863 clothing, like the heavy wool jackets the soldiers wore. We stopped by the battlefield to see how everyone is beating the heat.Soldiers out their today told us;

” We were told to utilize the sunscreen as much as possible, wear loose fitting clothing to stay cool and hydrate as much as we possibly can, drinks lots of water and Gatorade type fluids to help with hydration.”

“The humidity gets you down a little bit and when you have the woolen uniform on on the battlefield, it takes a lot of mind over matter to get you through the day.”

Soldiers clothing was mostly made of wool because wool didn’t allow rain to soak in and it was easy to wash.

Normally there are about 7500 people living and working in Gettysburg every day. That’s all changed with the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the fanous battle. The population has exploded to nearly 300,000 people.
For locals, it can be a hassle to travel and get around in the normally quiet town, but all the visitors are certainly good for business.
“It’s a good thing for the town, I hope it brings more people back next summer and the following the summer.  Overall, its great for the town, the country, good for the town and everyone here,” says Ben Klunk, a server at The Pub Restaurant on the historic Lincoln Square.
The reenactments and activities are expected to bring about $100-million dollars in to Gettysburg and the surrounding area.

Local News
07/07/13

Civil War Reenactors Pay A Big Price

The town of Gettysburg is full of reenactors, marking the 150th anniversary of the famous battle.

The price Civil War reenactors pay to live like it’s 1863 is more expensive than you think.

When you add up clothing costs, travel, and food expenses — you have quite the bill.

But it’s all worth it to history buffs who want to pay their respects and have a little fun too.

“Two pieces under here..” explains Lynda Pannell.

Lynda Pannell’s specialized 19th century dresses are as authentic as it gets.

“Fixings underneath this is all made of silk,” says Pannell, the owner of The Colonels Lady Civil War Attire.

She tries to put a basic day dress in a customer’s hand for under 200 dollars.

That’s cheap in the reenactment world, but then again that’s just the dress!

“Of course you have all the underpinnings the hoops the broaches and anything else they want to add,” says Pannell.

The store has sold more items in the past 6 weeks than they ever have before.

Pannell says the items she’s been selling a lot of have been accessories.

Accessorizing is a big deal for Civil War buffs… even for men.

“A lot of these people put a lot of money in, some of these guns a few thousand dollars,” says reenactor, Tommy Thunder.

Tommy Thunder’s costume rang in at 200 dollars, something he’s bragging about.

But the people he’s met from around the globe have had to dump money into travel on top of an expensive wardrobe.

“I met a lot of interesting people from all over and they talked about how much it took to get here,” says Thunder.

It’s a big cost especially coming from overseas.

But people pay it anyway for the experience…

“I`m sold I`m sold it`s a blast,” says Thunder.

..Of what some compare to Christmas.

“It helps you to be a part of the period and I think that`s what a lot of us strive to do,” says Pannell.

Lynda Pannell says the idea to make Civil War clothing started when she visited Gettysburg for the 135th anniversary and couldn’t find anything that fit her and her daughter.

Now her business has grown exponentially.

Local News
07/06/13

National Guard Commemorative Ceremony

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Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg with a wreath laying ceremony. Pennsylvania units that share lineage with companies that fought in 1863 laid the wreath at the Pennsylvania monument at the Gettysburg National Military Park. There was also a short presentation about the units duties for then and now.

The ceremony began and ended with a concert from the 28th Division Band with Civil-War era selections.

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Gettysburg’s 150th Anniversary Commemoration Features more than 200 events, tours, programs and exhibits.

Here is a snapshot of some of the activities happening today, July 6:

  • National Civil War Battle Reenactment:

The Redding Farm

1085 Table Rock Road, Gettysburg

Over the next two days, soldier and civilian re-enactors will recreate the 1860s through battles, encampments and demonstrations. Visitors can get an up-close look at the lives that infantry, cavalry and artillery soldiers led during the civil war.

For a full list of all programs along with event details, visit www.gettysburgreenactment.com

Saturday, July 6:

8:30  a.m. - Gates Open & Your Adventure Begins
   9:00  a.m. - The Confederate Generals hold a War meeting. (Activities Tent 1)
   9:30  a.m. - The inside story of the ,”Civil War Spies”. (Activities Tent 2)
  10:00 a.m. - General Longstreet discuses his battle plans. (Activities Tent 1)
11:00 a.m. - Abraham Lincoln, (Jim Getty) will deliver the Gettysburg Address before the battle.Cavalry Battle: We Have No Time” Stuart Arrives on the Battlefield
Live Mortar Fire Demonstration.  Watch as the balls fly through the  air to their target with an explosive ending. (Follows Battle) Field Demonstration
  12:30 p.m. - Patrick Falci talks about the making of “Gettysburg, the movie” (Activities Tent 1)
  1:00 p.m. - Battle: “Hold the Line” – Gallant Rally at the Klingle Farm
  2:00 p.m. - The Ladies of the Dixie Rose Relief explain the hardships of the Civilians. (Activities Tent 1)
  2:30 p.m. - ALHES presents the journey to becoming a; “Living Historian” (Activities Tent 2)
  3:00 p.m. - Ghostly Encounters of Gettysburg with Johlene “Spooky” Riley and “Captain” Chris Taylor (Activities Tent 1)
  3:30 p.m. - US Generals discuss the successes of the day. (Activities Tent 2)
  4:00 p.m. -  Matthew Brady tell the story of “Civil War Photography” (Activities Tent 1)
  5:00 p.m. - General Hancock talks about his day at Gettysburg. (Activities Tent 2)
  6:00 p.m. - Battle: “Thundering Hell”  Defending East Cemetery Hill
  7:00 p.m.  - A Union Drummer Boy and a Confederate Spy (Activities Tent 1)
  8:00 p.m. - Reenactors Camp Dance with the 2nd South Carolina String Band. (Activities Tent 2)

*Event Schedule Subject to Change.

Local News
07/05/13

Narrators Share Battle History At Gettysburg

Today marks one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

Gettysburg visitors are not only getting a first hand look at how the battles played out but they’re also learning the story like no other history book reads.

People visit these hollowed grounds throughout the week are getting a neat chance to hear the battles play out from a true civil war expert.

While you can see the shots fired right before your eyes, the story behind told by the narrator gives history a stronger meaning.

“And so you can reload it while you’re crouched down maybe taking shelter behind a fence…” explains a narrator.

Leonard Loski says narrators have to take an intense written and oral exam and pass with flying colors.

“They’re very knowledgable and it doesn’t just stop with passing the exam it continues everyday with studying and knowing things about what’s going on,” says Loski.

Reenactors lose sense of time during battles.

“Sometimes you just get lost in the moment where you think gosh it is 1862 or 1863,” says Kyle Kremke.

And people who’ve come this week say the lessons learned on the battle fields don’t compare to a history class.

“I think this kind of brings a reality to it all,” says Alphie Cisar.

Alphie Cisar is from Gettysburg.

He and his family come each year to show his kids the magnitude of the Civil War.

“Seeing it live seeing all the different soldiers all the different artillery and calvary…much much different than learning from the book,” says Cisar.

And narrators say that’s what their job is all about.

We need to be sure the children are being taught exactly what happened in the Civil War,” says Loski.

People say despite the reenactors wearing heaving clothing during the hot weather, it’s the narrators who are truly the ones that have the most difficult jobs trying to explain to people what happened on these grounds 150 years ago.

A local group of kids are playing a very special part in the Battle of Gettysburg.

These fife and drum musicians take a special course on how to drum just like the children did during the Civil War.

Kids say it’s a privilege to live the lifestyle of history for a few days.

The songs the children play on the battle fields are for morale purposes and to signal to soldiers what time to get up, eat meals, and go to battle.

Most men in the Civil War did not own a watch many officers did not either they were relying on these guys to tell them what the function was at that time of the day,” says Venture Crew Advisor, Michael Cissidy.

“I like to be out in the battlefield it’s a cool experience it’s a nice one to be able to watch but to be able to actually participate and say yeah I was in the 150th, it’s pretty big,” says drummer, Evan Templin.

The kids range from middle school to high school and are from Lancaster and York Counties.

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Gettysburg’s 150th Anniversary Commemoration Features more than 200 events, tours, programs and exhibits.

Here is a snapshot of some of the activities happening today, July 5:

  • National Civil War Battle Reenactment:

The Redding Farm

1085 Table Rock Road, Gettysburg

Over the next three days, soldier and civilian re-enactors will recreate the 1860s through battles, encampments and demonstrations. Visitors can get an up-close look at the lives that infantry, cavalry and artillery soldiers led during the civil war.

For a full list of all programs along with event details, visit www.gettysburgreenactment.com

Friday, July 5:

8:30  a.m. - Gates Open & Your Adventure Begins
   9:00  a.m. - Matthew Brady tell the story of ,”Civil War Photography”. (Activities Tent 1)
   9:30  a.m. - Civil War Medicine at Gettysburg. (Activities Tent 2)
  10:00 a.m. - A Confederate soldier tells his story of his Civil War adventure. (Activities Tent 1)
  10:30 a.m. - US Generals talk about the “Good Ground”. (Activities Tent 2)
11:00 a.m. - Abraham Lincoln, (Jim Getty) will deliver the Gettysburg Address before the battle.Battle: “Springing The Trap” Cavalry Battle at Hunterstown
Live Mortar Fire Demonstration.  Watch as the balls fly through the  air to their target with an explosive ending. (Field Demonstration)
 12:30 p.m. - Actor & Historian Patrick Falci talks about his time on the set of “Gettysburg”. (Activities Tent 1)
  1:00 p.m. - Award winning Author Jeff Shaara presentation (Tent 2) followed by book signing in Authors & Artists tent.
  1:30 p.m. - Spies and the Pinkerton Agency talk about their Civil War successes. (Activities Tent 1)
  2:00 p.m. - General Longstreet expresses his thoughts on the third day. (Activities Tent 2)
  2:30 p.m. - Review the civil War Fashions of the 1860′s with Carolann Schmitt. (Activities Tent 1)
  3:00 p.m. - Attend a Civil War wedding and renew your personal vows. (Activities Tent 2)
  3:30 p.m. - Ghostly Encounters of Gettysburg with Johlene “Spooky” Riley and “Captain” Chris Taylor (Activities Tent 1)
   4:00 p.m. - General Hancock makes his plans for the battle. (Activities Tent 2)
  4:30 p.m. - The United States Christian Commission tells of their struggles to help the soldier.(Activities Tent 1)
  5:00 p.m. - How to become a Civil War Reenactor by American Living History Education Society (ALHES).(Activities Tent 2)
  6:00 p.m. - Battle:  “A Bloody Harvest” Ferocious Fighting in the Wheatfield
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