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Re-enactment Marks 150th Anniversary at Gettysburg
July 1, 2013

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All ended happily, if with a somber tone, at the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

At a National Park Service-backed re-enactment near the central Pennsylvania town that shares its name with the famous battle, hundreds of Civil War buffs played the parts of soldiers involved in the pivotal events of that three-day battle, including the

famous “Pickett’s Charge,” a last-ditch attempt by the Confederate forces to dislodge the Union troops and their guns from their firmly entrenched positions on Cemetery Ridge and elsewhere.

The “Charge” was repulsed in the end, in 1863, by withering gunfire and superior manpower. About 50,000 soldiers died at Gettysburg. The subsequent Confederate retreat from Pennsylvania was a symbolic turning point in the war. It was the last Southern invasion of the North. The war, however, dragged on for another nearly two years after Gettysburg.

The “Charge” in 2013 began at the precise time of its predecessor but ended with a giant get-together, in which participants paid homage to the survivors and victims of Gettysburg and of other battles during the four-year-long war.

The re-enactment was part of a large celebration lasting a week. The battle took place July 1–3; the celebration was to last July 1–7. More than 200,000 visitors were expected to attend the battle and other events, including battlefield tours.

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