I don't know anyone who doesn't get chills standing on the battlefield. It is beautiful and sorrowful, and the hills pull you in. The meandering roads loop through the rocky farmland and forest and the tragedies were so widespread and the battlefield so eerily quiet you almost expect to come across a scene of suffering every hill you ascend and every rock you walk past. It is a feeling like none ever.
Gettysburg is in everyone's hearts.
It is not always easy to separate personal, group or regimental issues from events themselves. Many times an event can be awesome but the "reenactor stuff" can get in the way. This is why you can ask 1,000 reenactors how an event was and get 1,000 responses. A big part of my enjoyment of events is getting to take great photos.
I love events where reenactors can watch the battle from a different place and viewpoint from the spectators. My friends are out there on the field and I'd love to get some nice photos of them in action. An event can be completely terrible, but if it results in me having a string of phenomenal photos, I will think the event was worth it.
That being said, the Gettysburg reenactment was a well run event. They had shuttles come through the camps and multiple stops set up around the event exclusively for reenactors to get around and avoid walking too far in the heat. There was ample ice delivered and tons of firewood left over after the event. For an event this size, I was impressed by how well the logistics were managed.
I didn't get to take many photos at this event. I wouldn't say I had a bad weekend. For all that was happening, my group kept high spirits. But, this was one event where too much "reenactor stuff" was beating us down. Our group had a huge number of real casualties at this event, including a hospital visit. I didn't get to see any of the far traveling reenactors that I had hoped to but met a lot of new ones as many had come from overseas to attend.
I did not get to see any of the battles. I tried to see one on Saturday but was so hot after 5 minutes, I felt that I was about to pass out and had to leave. Issues in our battalion caused my, and many others lack of attendance in and at the next battle. I heard that the battles were fun and the photos I have seen from them look fantastic. The event was hot all weekend, except on Sunday when we had torrential rain right as Pickett's Charge was finishing up.
Since I didn't get to leave camp much and knew that this event was going to be photographed to death by spectator and reenactor alike, I decided I wouldn't worry and took some photos to show the little less seen parts of the reenacting experience.
|Tents at Twilight|
|The little bit of the battle I saw.|
|Tearing down camp in the rain. :)|
Sorry for the lack of battle photos but I'm sure they will be all over the internet soon! If you went to this event, how did you like it?