150th Anniversary: Gettysburg events in 2013

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Although the main commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg will be held next summer, special activities are planned throughout the year. Here's a list that will be updated with more detail as the anniversary approaches.

Jan. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26

National Military Park Winter Lecture Series -- Park rangers will give free indoor lecture on topics related to "The Civil War in 1863" at the Visitors Center. Information: 1-717-334-1124, ext. 8023, or www.nps/.gov/gett.

Feb. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 27

National Military Park Winter Lecture Series continues on "The Civil War in 1863.''

PG Map: Gettysburg
(Click image for larger version)
Feb. 23

Historian Sue Boardman of the Gettysburg Foundation will conduct a program on the Gettysburg Cyclorama painting, now housed at the National Visitors Center, at 5 p.m. It will deal with the genre of such large circular paintings and especially the Battle of Gettysburg cyclorama, which portrays Confederate Gen. Pickett's unsuccessful charge against Union troops on July 3, 1863. It will also describe how the large painting was restored after being removed from its former building. The program lasts two hours and is limited to 50 people. An adult ticket is $20 and a youth (age 6 to 12) is $10. Tickets are available online at www.gettysburgfoundation.org or at 1-877-874-2478.

March 2-3, 9-10

National Military Park Winter Lecture Series on "The Civil War in 1863''

March 14-16

Gettysburg Sesquicentennial seminar, "The Future of Civil War History,'' sponsored by Gettysburg National Military Park and Gettysburg College; Registration and fee required. Go to www.gettysburg.edu/cwi.

April

There will be a preview (date not set yet) of a new $15 million battlefield museum on Seminary Ridge, an area named for the Lutheran Theological Seminary built in 1832 that continues in operation. The museum will officially open July 1 -- 150 years ago that day Seminary Ridge saw the first day of fighting in the three-day battle.

June

In early June (dates to be announced), the Gettysburg Festival will be held, an annual public event designed to draw visitors to Adams County and Gettysburg. It is not specifically related to the 150th anniversary.

June 15

Brass band concert, period music from Civil War, free performances at museum and visitors center and evening concert at the Pennsylvania Civil War memorial.

June 16

The special exhibit "Treasures of the Civil War" will be held at the museum and visitors center, with rare Civil War artifacts related to the lives of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and others; exhibit remains on display through 2015.

June 21-25

Talks by Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College and at National Military Park; 1-717-337-6590 or www.gettysburg.edu/cwi.

June 28-30

Re-enactments of battles between the North and South forces, to be done by the Blue Gray Alliance, a group of military re-enactors. This event will be new for 2013. There are to be more than 10,000 "soldiers" participating and a re-creation of a typical Civil War town, with civilian re-enactors.

June 29-30

A free series of talks about the Gettysburg battle and the overall Civil War, along with book signings by historians and National Park Service rangers, sponsored by the Gettysburg Foundation and the national military park; 1-717-339-2109 or www.gettysburgfoundation.org.

June 29

• Commemoration of the Eternal Peace Light Memorial by the Sons of Union Vets.

• Re-enactment of Gen. Robert E. Lee's advance to Gettysburg from Cashtown, Pa., eight miles west of town (this event also to held on June 30).

• Parade and military concert marking the Battle of Hanover in June 1863, 15 miles east of Gettysburg.

• Re-creation of a military encampment at Union Mills, Md., a few miles south of Gettysburg.

June 30

• Ceremony called "Gettysburg -- A New Birth of Freedom," an evening event to be held on an outdoor stage near where Union Gen. Meade's headquarters was located on the battlefield. It will include readings of eyewitness accounts of events by soldiers and civilians who witnessed the battle. The evening will end with a procession where participants and viewers can walk through Soldiers National Cemetery with candles marking the more than 3,500 graves soldiers who died at Gettysburg.

• Event marking 150th anniversary of Battle of Hanover, which preceded Gettysburg by one day.

July 1

• Official opening of the Seminary Ridge Museum, the 150th anniversary of the first day of the battle, fought on Seminary Ridge.

• Ceremony marking the first shots fired at Gettysburg, part of the 150th anniversary.

July 2

• Anniversary of the battle of Little Round Top, hilly territory which Confederates failed to take from Union forces.

• Cavalry re-enactment of the Battle of Hanover, east of Gettysburg.

• Ceremony for battle of Hunterstown, a few miles north of Gettysburg.

July 3

150th anniversary of Pickett's Charge, held on the third day of the battle, that failed to dislodge Union troops from their hilltop positions and led to the Southern retreat the next day.

Also, from July 1-3

• "Living History Camps'' -- Two full battalions of Union and Confederate infantrymen, plus artillery and other supporting units, will present demonstrations and programs near the Pennsylvania Memorial to illustrate the life of soldiers and battle tactics.

• "Key Moment Programs" -- Each day of the battle and on July 4, Park Service rangers will present programs at locations where key events occurred.

• "Special Programs" -- Park Service rangers will have programs allowing visitors to experience critical moments of the battle at the approximate time they occurred 150 years ago.

• "Voices of the Battle" -- Each day at 7 p.m. visitors can gather for a program where the voices of soldiers and civilians describe their experiences during and after the battle.

• "Kids and Family" -- There will be a Kids and Family tent with activities each day and an interactive Signal Corps station near Gen. Meade's headquarters.

• National Park Service rangers will present battle overviews, information on soldiers' lives and care of the wounded on a regular schedule in the Visitors Center during these days.

July 4-7

150th anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg, sponsored by Gettysburg Anniversary Committee, known for its large-scale re-enactments of the fighting.

July 6

Re-enactment of Confederates capturing the Shriver House.

Aug. 16-17

Civil War "Music Muster," with Civil War music played at a special program sponsored by the National Military Park.

Sept. 18-22

Congressional Medal of Honor Society annual convention. Gettysburg was chosen as the site for 2013 because of the 150th anniversary.

Oct. 25-27

A seminar, "Gettysburg to Appomattox," sponsored by the National Military Park and Gettysburg College.

Nov. 16

Annual Remembrance Day parade, with thousands of re-enactors marching through Gettysburg streets; also, the annual "remembrance illumination" at the Soldiers National Cemetery from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., with luminary candles placed on each soldier's grave.

Nov. 19

150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, held in Soldiers National Cemetery.

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