The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

The Civil War in Memory: 1877 to 2013

What happened at the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg?

As so often happened, Gettysburg overshadowed Vicksburg; practically all the attention in the newspapers went to the commemoration of the former battle. Thousands of veterans arrived at Gettysburg in time for the event, which featured a tent so large that 15,000 people could fit underneath.

The opening ceremonies were, perhaps, the most touching. Seven “Gettysburg girls,” now in their seventies, came forth to say that they were among those who sang patriotic songs to General Buford’s cavalrymen back in 1863. Some of those cavalrymen were also present, and their leader, Major Jerome Wheeler, gave a moving tribute. “If absence makes the heart grow fonder, how our hearts go out to you today as we look into your dear faces after an absence of fifty years.” All seemed well, except for the blistering heat, which the veterans declared was about the same as what they remembered from 1863. Not everything went so smoothly, however.


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