This is a home page for the "California contingent" of reenactors heading to the 150th anniversary reenactment of Gettysburg, to be held in July 2013. Anyone who wants to join our group heading east, please let me know. You can also leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
See below for more details about the event.
As of August there are two competing events, one put on by the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee, and the Blue-Gray Alliance. We will be attending the event put on by the Blue-Gray Alliance (BGA). Here's a brief explanation as to why.
From what I've heard, the GAC doesn't have a very good commitment to authenticity. At Antietam, they moved the Confederate artillery position in order to install additional stadium-style seating for spectators. At a previous Gettysburg reenactment, they had the wrong units in the wrong places, and moved the artillery around during Pickett's Charge. (To say nothing of large stadium-style bleachers for spectators, and a loud PA system during the entire battle.)
In addition, the GAC charges a lot - to both spectators and reenactors - and doesn't give much in return; the money goes into their own pockets. The BGA, on the other hand, has promised to donate 75% of profits to battlefield preservation. They have also promised that their tickets will be $20 instead of $25. That may not make much of a difference if you're already spending $500 to fly across the country, but hey, it's half a can of powder, right?
The National Park Service is connected with the BGA event. I'm involved in multiple NPS events out here in California, and think very highly of the NPS. If this is the event they're choosing to associate themselves with, that says a lot to me.
Finally, the BGA is using the same site as the movie Gettysburg. If you remember the movie, the site is perfect. The GAC site has a creek running through the middle of the battlefield, which interfers with Pickett's Charge.
I should add that this is all heresay; I've only heard these things second-hand. But I've heard them from reliable sources. If you think we should attend the GAC event instead, talk to me about it.
The GAC event is the following weekend, so theoretically we could do both, but I don't see the point in that, given that it's worse. Let's all just go to the better event and enjoy ourselves.
You can buy tickets here: http://bluegraygettysburg.com
We will be falling in with a local group, the 69th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. They were a group of Irish Americans, just like the 69th New York. They wanted to join the Irish Brigade, but the governor of Pennsylvania didn't want his PA boys commanded by a bunch of New Yorkers, so he refused. However, he allowed them to adopt the regiment number 69, out of homage to the 69th New York.
The reenactor group is a family-friendly unit similar to the 69th New York. Several ACWA members have fallen in with them at previous events, including our own Colonel Doug Ericson, who has good things to say about the group. I have spoken with their commanding officer, Captain Scott Eller.
If you want to fall in with a Confederate group, I recommend you find an east coast reenactor group you can join. If you can recommend one, let me know and I'll put it up here.
Fly. Nearest airport is Dulles. I recommend Virgin America or JetBlue; it's a long flight and they're more fun. There are no plans for group plane tickets, but let me know if you'd like to organize something.
Rafferty Lincoln and his mother will be driving cross country. If you're crazy, you can join them. ;-)
We have a "man on site," our very own Private Walker (first name Anne). We will be able to mail her powder, caps, firearms, and other equipment, which should make travel much easier.
I will be renting a van to transport reenactors from the airport (Dulles) to the event. I will team up with Anne to transport supplies. If you ride in my van, I will ask you to pitch in on the rental cost. If people are interested, I can also place a bulk order for powder and caps and have them shipped directly to Anne.
You are responsible for your own meals. There is no company mess. There will probably be a fire that you can use to cook things, but don't expect any utensils. The 69th PA has a policy against having farb out in the open, so please transfer your coke to a tin cup.
It's a reenacting event. Bring a canvas tent.
Hot tip: Dog tents were intended to house two people. Each person would carry one "shelter half" and then you'd put them together with a buddy. I strongly recommend you find a buddy to share a tent with, so you don't have to ship an entire tent across the country. That's what I'll be doing. (The army regs said everyone up to the rank of captain is supposed to sleep in a dog tent. It didn't always happen, but that's what the regs said.)
I've set up a new mailing list just for news about the Gettysburg 150th. See the box at the top of this page.
Any other questions, leave a comment below or use the box to send me a message.