Saturday, June 23, 2012

March to Destiny

This weekend Shippensburg commemorates the occupation of the town by Confederate forces in June of 1863. It became a staging area for Confederate troops on their way to what was to become the battle of Gettysburg. There are lots of events involved with this. Unfortunately I missed the ones taking place in the little gazebo park across the street from me because I misread the schedule and thought they were this morning; when I went to the website to look at the schedule again this morning I discovered they were yesterday evening instead. How could I not hear them? There was an opening ceremony with readings and presentations and period music and I didn't hear any of it! I guess the windows being closed and the a/c running blotted out extraneous street noise, plus three days of heat and humidity had me tuckered out (not to mention the two beers with supper) and dozing in front of the telly. Oh well...

Anyhow, this morning I went to look at the commemoration headquarters at the public library and visited the Union and Confederate encampments. The Union encampment was over the creek behind the police station...

... while the Confederate encampment was over by the entrance to Shippensburg University.

There was a demonstration of ladies' side-saddle riding in front of the Union camp...

... and I stumbled across a gathering of Civil War enactors discussing the finer points historic battle tactics and their political implications. The guy in blue with his back turned and with the boots and general's gold braid on his hat may have been impersonating Grant; he was bearded and was smoking a cigar and dominated the conversation with an air of authority. But Grant wasn't at Gettysburg, and wasn't even a dominant figure in the Civil War yet at that point, so given the penchant for absolute historical accuracy these guys have, my impression could well be mistaken.

All in all it was a very interesting experience. 

© 2012 by A. Roy Hilbinger

1 comment:

  1. Wow they go all out don't they, looks fascinating.