150 years ago the Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvaniaoccurred, taking the largest number of lives of any battle in the U.S. Civil War. After the three-day battle was fought from July 1 – 3 in 1863, an estimated 46,000 U.S. and Confederate soldiers lay dead.
Like many Civil War battles that took place across the eastern U.S., Gettysburg is being remembered this year by Civil War enthusiasts and scholars. To celebrate the battle’s 150th anniversary, a massive reenactment is scheduled to take place over the coming 4th of July holiday weekend.
According to an CNN report, 200,000 to 300,000 people will descend upon Gettysburg National Military Park to watch and participate in the reenactment. The Battle of Gettysburg itself only had around 165,000 combatants.
Events will be held at the national park throughout the week, beginning with a commemorative ceremony that will be broadcast live tonight on C-SPAN 3 and online at the History Channel website. On July 3, thousands of participants will follow National Park Service Rangers as they lead everyone in a reenactment of Pickett’s Charge – the large Confederate charge toward the center of Union lines on Cemetary Ridge. The charge was rebuffed by Union troops, leading to many Confederate losses and the eventual retreat of General Robert E. Lee. Pickett’s Charge is often cited as one of the turning points of the U.S. Civil War.
— Gettysburg NMP (@GettysburgNMP) June 30, 2013
(Image courtesy U.S. National Park Service)