Days Gone By - stories from the past

These veterans showed much dignity and respect toward each other as they put the Civil War behind them [vintage pictures & film]

On July 1-3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought during the Civil War. Often referred to as the “High Water Mark of the Rebellion”, Gettysburg was the Civil War’s bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address”.


Many Alabama soldiers fought

Many Alabama soldiers fought and lost their lives in this battle and their deaths are commemorated today with a monument on the battlefield.

Alabama_State_Monument_at_GettysburgMonument at Gettysburg  honoring Alabama’s dead

50th Anniversary of the Battle

In 1913, the United States government held a 50th anniversary of the Battle. The June 29–July 4 gathering of 53,407 veterans (8,750 Confederate) as the largest ever Civil War veteran reunion, and “never before in the world’s history [had] so great a number of men so advanced in years been assembled under field conditions”.

CSA 1913 reunionCSA veterans at reunion in 1913

GAR veterans 1913 reunionSome GAR veterans at 1913 Reunion

All honorably discharged veterans in the Grand Army of the Republic and the United Confederate Veterans were invited, and veterans from 46 of the 48 states attended.

Veterans 1913 arriving (Library of congress)Veterans arriving by train 1913 (Bain News Service, Library of Congress)

Veterans arriving 1913 Veterans arriving 1913 (Library of Congress)

It was very hot in July and the boy scouts assisted men who suffered from heat prostration. Heat prostrationBoy Scouts assisting a man suffering from heat prostration (Bain News Service, Library of Congress)

 

Union-Confederate camaraderie

Despite concerns that there might be unpleasant differences, at least, between the blue and gray, the peaceful reunion was repeatedly marked by events of Union-Confederate camaraderie.”

veterans under blue and grayCSA and GAR Veterans under blue and gray

Blue and Gray Assembly tentBlue and Gray Assembly tent and two veterans shaking hands (one CSA  – one GAR)

CSA and GAR at encampmentCSA and GAR with flags at encampment at reunion 1913

dinnertime2 1913

Dinner time

Dinner time3Dinnertime at the Reunion 1913

A baseball game was even played for entertainment.

Baseball game at reunionBaseball game at Gettysburg reunion

President Woodrow Wilson speaks

President Woodrow Wilson’s July 4 reunion address summarized the spirit: “We have found one another again as brothers and comrades in arms, enemies no longer, generous friends rather, our battles long past, the quarrel forgotten—except that we shall not forget the splendid valor.”

President WilsonPresident Wilson at the Reunion

President Wilson at reunionPresident Wilson at the Reunion

President Wilson speakingPresident Wilson speaking at the Reunion

Confederate General Joseph Wheeler from Alabama had not participated in the Gettysburgs battle, but he attended the Great Reunion one day before the official opening on June 30, 1913. General Wheeler later “volunteered for the U. S. Army during the Spanish-American War and was appointed by President McKinley as a Major General, in charge of cavalry forces…including Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders.”1

Reenactment of Pickett’s Charge at Bloody Angle

A reenactment of Pickett’s charge by Veterans from both sides was one event planned. “Only survivors of the 1863 charge could participate in the 1913. Hundreds of thousands of onlookers cheered, then gasped. These were not many young men carrying rifles toward the Union line, but a group of a few old men with white hair and beards waving hats and umbrellas – and an old Confederate battle flag from that charge.”2

Pickett's men at Bloody Angle at reunionPickett’s men at Bloody Angle reenactment in 1913


Union Volunteers at Bloody Angle
Union Volunteers at Bloody Angle in 1913

Bloody Angle ReenactmentCrowd at Bloody Angle Reenactment

The film below is from YouTube by Rhettvideo and includes footage from the historic reunion in 1913 and reveals what happened during the reenactment. A must see!

SOURCES

  1. The Library of Congress
  2. Smithsonian
  3. Gettysburg.com

 

No North, No South…: The Grand Reunion at the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg by James Rada

No North, No South…: The Grand Reunion at the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg


Features: No North No South
By (author): James Rada Jr.
List Price: $19.95 USD
New From: $18.73 USD In Stock

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me
All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .
For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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11 comments

  1. Jerry Clanton

    See how many can put so much behind them…no this is a history lesson

  2. Porky Graham

    Very interesting. Love to read about the civil war.

  3. JohnJane Curry

    This should be a lesson for everyone today! Screw political correctness! John

  4. Linda Freeman

    I wish everyone would watch this and see what the white and black soldiers went thought in this battle. I realy never fully understood what they went though till now. I guess I didn’t pay attendance in Social studies huh?

  5. Bob Floyd

    That is why it is called the CIVIL War.

  6. Sam Harris

    My Great grandfather was captured there.

  7. Ted N JoAnn Pacello

    Are you supposed to mention our southern history? Will they tear it up. Band it from FB. It’s gotten way out of hand, and it should be stopped soon.

  8. Katrina May

    I love history, too bad there are a lot of people who want to change it.

  9. Michael Bounds

    On this date during the Battle of Gettysburg, the 20th Maine Regiment under Col. Joshua Chamberlain carried out its heroic defense of the extreme left flank of the Army of the Potomac at Little Round Top, repulsing the 15th Alabama Regiment under Col. William Oates. Coincidentally, both Chamberlain and Oates later became governors of their home states.(July 2nd)

  10. Jeffbodein Nabors

    Thanks for your service an yes they are people who really care. I think that was some of the bravest men that’s ever fought for this country period

  11. Rejetta Balentine

    If the men who fought can so this, why so much animosity today over a flag and monuments?

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