Monday, August 27, 2012

Scenarios unveiled for the 150th Gettysburg Reenactment

The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee is pleased to announce the 150th Gettysburg historically accurate, scripted battles for the Reenactment to be held July 4th, 5th and 6th, 2013.

Make sure that you check out our new and improved website, for the most up to date information for everything related to the 150th Gettysburg Reenactment.

The entire site has been revamped to make browsing for information ten times easier!

The entire event next year will be focused on presenting phases of the battle from star to finish. Most likely, not all troops will be involved in every action as they will roll one into another. More details to follow but here they are...

The Devil's to Pay - First Day Struggle at Willoughby Run
Thursday, July 4th, 11:00 a.m.

Early in the morning on July 1st, Confederate General Henry Heth moved toward Gettysburg from Cashtown on the Chambersburg Pike in search of supplies. Heth's entire division was mustered for the march when one of his brigades had returned and reported a sizeable force of Union cavalry near Gettysburg. After exchanging a few shots with a Union cavalry picket post near Marsh Creek, Heth believed he might be facing some local militia and a small Union force as he approached Herrs Ridge, Willoughby Run, McPherson's Ridge and Seminary Ridge. This belief was short-lived. Heth discovered the Rebels were facing General Buford's dismounted cavalry who had been sent forward to McPherson's Ridge and to Willoughby Run in order to stall the Confederate advance. Colonel William Gamble's brigade of Buford's division, supported by Lt. John H. Calef's U.S. Battery with their breech loading carbines, did a fine job of delaying the Confederate approach. The Rebels were stalled - but only for a short period. The intense fighting of the First Day was just beginning.

Crossroads of Destiny - The Federal Retreat from Seminary Ridge
Thursday, July 4th, 6:00 p.m.

The outnumbered Union Cavalry of John Buford fought through the morning of the First Day to slow the Confederate advance. They fought mounted and dismounted by forming a line, firing, and then pulling back. One of the first Union Infantry units to reach the field in support was Reynolds 1st Corp which included the Iron Brigade. The 1st Corps initially defeated Heth's infantry and drove them back. After an approximately one hour battle, with heavy losses on both sides, the Confederates managed to push the First Corps back.

By 3:00 p.m., the Confederates were attacking along a broad front extending from the Fairfield Road to Oak Hill and beyond. On the Union right toward Oak Hill and Barlow's Knoll, some units held their ground. Other units retreated and began to run through the streets and alleys of Gettysburg. Actions at Willoughby Run, Herbst Woods, The Railroad Cut, Iverson's Pits, Oak Hill, Barlow's Knoll and the Brickyard would be etched in First Day infamy forever.

"Springing the Trap - Ambush at Hunterstown" (Cavalry Battle)
Friday, July 5th, 11:00 a.m.

It all began with Custer ordering elements of the 6th and 7th Michigan cavalry to dismount and move south on foot beyond and below the ridge, along both sides of the Hunterstown Road east of Gettysburg. These troops, hidden by the wheat fields, inconspicuously moved forward to the Felty Farm where the units' marksmen took cover in the large bank barn on the west side of the road. The Felty's barn was large enough to conceal Lieutenant A.C.M. Pennington's 2nd U.S. Battery. Meanwhile the men of the 7th Michigan formed undetected in the tall wheat east of the Hunterstown Road, to form a cross fire with the 6th Michigan.

A Bloody Harvest - The Wheatfield
Friday, July 5th, 6 p.m.

On the morning of July 2, 1863 the Confederate forces were jubilant. They had driven the enemy from the field and now occupied the town of Gettysburg. General Robert E. Lee decided to remain at Gettysburg to defeat the defending Federal force, now deployed on high ground south and east of town. Deciding on a Napoleonic flanking maneuver against the Union troops, Lee ordered an attack, with General Longstreet's 1st Corps engaging the Federals on Little Round Top, and General Ewell's 2nd Corps hitting the Federals on Cemetery and Culp's Hills as a diversion.

General Longstreet's troops had not arrived yet on the morning of July 2nd, and determinedly traveled surreptitiously in a counter-march to avoid detection. As a result, Dan Sickles, commander of the Union 3rd Corps, ordered his men off the rocky hill and positioned them in fields and knolls in the shadow of the Round Tops. He believed the Confederates would not attack his men on high ground; rather, Lee was probably going to skirt around the Union forces and run toward Washington.

We Have No Time - Stuart Arrives on the Battlefield (Cavalry Tactical)
Saturday, July 6th, 11:00 a.m.

Once the lead division of the Army of Virginia reached Pennsylvania, General Stuart's cavalry had been ordered to hook up with General Ewell and report the position of the Union Army. On June 28, Stuart crossed the Potomac and captured a Union supply train of 140 wagons and then made his way toward Baltimore, and then Carlisle where he burned the Carlisle Barracks. Late in the afternoon of July 2nd, Stuart finally reached the Gettysburg Headquarters of General Lee largely being unaware the battle had begun the day before without him.

Lee had been left blind to the strength and movement of the Federal Army and expressed his displeasure with Stuart. After the battle Stuart received significant criticism from the southern press, but historians have failed to agree whether Stuart did not follow orders or that Lee had issued orders that were far too vague.

Hold The Line - Gallant Rally at the Klingle Farm
Saturday, July 6th, 1:00 p.m

On July 2, Major General Daniel Sickles marched his Third Corp from the base of Little Roundtop, across the Wheatfield, to the D.F. Klingle Farm and the Sherfy Peach Orchard located on the east side of Emmitsburg Road. Sickles made the march against orders and almost caused a Federal disaster in the process. By moving forward from the Federal line, Sickles exposed his corps to enfilading fire during a massive attack from Longstreet's corp.

"Thundering Hell" (East Cemetery and Culp's Hill)
Saturday, July 6th, 6:00 p.m

On July 1st, the outnumbered Federal forces that retreated from the fields west and north of town arrived on Cemetery Hill, the position chosen by Union Eleventh Corps General Oliver O. Howard as the rallying point for the Union army. General George Meade sent Major General Winfield S. Hancock to take command of the Federal forces in Gettysburg until Meade could arrive. General Hancock ordered that the Federal line be extended right to Culp's Hill and left to Cemetery Ridge.

After pursuing the Federal forces through the town of Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 1, Ewell had extended his line from the streets of Gettysburg eastward to Rock Creek at the northeastern base of Culp's Hill. Ewell was ordered by Lee to "press those people and secure the hill." Due to the fact that Rodes and Early's divisions were exhausted from fighting earlier in the day, and Johnson was not expected to arrive until nightfall, Ewell delayed in attacking Cemetery and Culp's Hill. This would prove to be a strategic blunder.

"Come On You Wolverines" (East Calvary Field)
Sunday, July 7th, 11:00 a.m.

Although there were many other significant cavalry actions on the bloody fields of Gettysburg, a large cavalry action three miles east of Gettysburg on July 3rd, is one of the most recognized. Today it is known as East Cavalry Field located just north of the Hanover Road. At approximately 2:30PM Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart and Union General David M. Gregg, for a span of three hours, engaged in a series of charges and counter charges that resulted in one of the most ferocious cavalry battles in the annals of American history.
General Stuart and three brigades of cavalry reached the Gettysburg area on the afternoon of July 2nd, from Carlisle. On July 3rd, Lee sent Stuart with four brigades to guard the Confederate left and to be in position for the attack on Cemetery Ridge - Pickett's Charge. While attempting to skirt the Union right flank Stuart meet two brigades of Union cavalry commanded by Brig. General Gregg three miles east of Gettysburg on the Rummel Farm.

The High Water Mark - Pickett's Charge
Sunday, July 7th, 3:30 p.m

"Pickett's Charge" Just the mention of those two words brings forth a flood of visual and sensory perceptions. Steaming humidity, ripe rye fields, lush green pastures, thundering cannon, suffocating smoke and row upon row of Confederate soldiers advancing across open fields into the face of a Federal inferno on Cemetery Ridge.

At 1:07 precisely - a field piece from the Washington Artillery, posted near the Peach Orchard, opened up the greatest cannonade in the annals of American history. It was a signal for the entire Confederate artillery line to let loose their terrific blast. It was a volcanic eruption for almost two hours with Confederate artillery pounding the Federal position on Cemetery Ridge in an attempt to soften the Federal center for the pending frontal assault. Correspondent Samuel Wilkenson of the New York Times, was at Meade's headquarter and reported, "the Confederate shells burst and screamed as many as six a second and made a very hell of a fire that amazed the older officers - men were cut in two and horses died still fastened by their halters." It is difficult to even comprehend 140 Confederate guns and 100 Federal guns belching fire, smoke, destruction and death.
Very seldom do you have this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience such an artillery barrage and vast number of troops reenacting one of the most famous battles in the history of the world. Your experienced will be enhanced with extensive pyrotechnics and the burning of the Bliss Barn.

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