Thursday, July 9, 2009

The National Regiment at Gettysburg

Just about a month ago, the National Regiment living history group encamped at Spangler's Spring here on the battlefield. It was one of the larger encampments I have personally seen at the park this season. Through mid-August, Gettysburg National Military Park hosts numerous living history groups at the park, mainly at Spangler's Spring, the Pennsylvania Memorial, and Pitzer Woods. To check out when upcoming encampments are being held, please visit the park's upcoming events page. In addition to these, the park offers over twenty free ranger programs every day! Make use of them!

The captain sternly waits for his troops to form up.

Many of us go to Gettysburg for the history, but people from all walks of life come here for different reasons. For instance, the battlefield is a great place to create artwork and take photos. I've come to learn that this place represents countless things to many people. This particular painter was depicting the National Regiment's camp on canvas. Cool, huh?

After forming into column, the men of the regiment marched out into the muddy fields surrounding Spangler's Spring to conduct some firing demonstrations for us spectators. Many folks from the recent CWPT Gettysburg conference joined us. These reenactors are firing into the field from which the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry charged the Confederates during the battle for Culp's Hill. The 2nd's commander, Col. Charles Mudge, was shot in the neck while leading his men and died here.

In this particular segment, we see the troops firing independently at their own pace, unlike firing by a volley. If you were an excellent Civil War marksman, you could fire three shots in a minute...that's with the enemy firing at you and simultaneously trying not to get shot. How many shots do you think you could fire in a minute?

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