Remembrance Day Weekend 2009 – Gettysburg,PA

December 7, 2009 - No Comments

by Jim Barnes

The following is a report from Nick Korolev on this year's Gettysburg Remembrance Day:

Remembrance Day in Gettysburg, PA gives all reenactors and living historians
a time and place to gather to officially honor those who gave their last
full measure for what they believed in. This year the weather could not have
been better with a fall briskness in the air.

There were many events during the day and many units carried out their own
ceremonies in the cemetery and on parts of the battlefield to honor the
fallen and regiments who fought there. The town was crowded despite the last
throes of the economic storm we have all weathered together, though there
seemed to not be quite as many in the parade as last year.

I arrived with my friends Richard "Byrdie" Byrd, Josh Ours and Cameron
Mallow. Cameron went on to stay at his aunt's house and the rest of us had
rooms at the Eisenhower. Joe Schafer of the Federal General's Corps was my
roommate. He portrays Gen. John Buford. While Byrdie and Josh attended a
meeting of the new Federal Volunteer Brigade's cavalry regiment that
evening, Joe and I in our civilian clothes took a walk in town and listened
to two military bands join in giving a concert down near the Dobin House. On
the way back to the truck we passed some Confederate officers who had been
imbibing a bit too much at a local establishment, one who looked like he was
walking across a ships deck during a storm. The incident left us wondering
if he would be making the parade the next day.

On Saturday, since Gen. Averell was not at Gettysburg, I just donned my
cavalry second lieutenant's coat I used at Cedar Creek this year and
portrayed Buford's aid for the day after I attended the Sons' Veteran
Reserve breakfast. We joined other members of the Federal Generals Corps by
the Dobin House to watch the parade. The parade started about twenty minutes
late, which may have been because the local police seemed to be having minor
problems with traffic control on the route. Inconsiderate drivers kept
trying to sneak through at the last minute. Overall, the parade was
enjoyable with soul stirring marches of the time. One would have to have a
heart of stone not to be affected by roll of drums, brass and fifes as the
notes echoed down the street to the tramp of marching feet as troops of both
sides passed. Before it was over, Joe and I and the rest of the members of
the Federal Generals Corps had to march quickly down the sidewalk dodging
spectators to make it to the High Watermark to take part in the Hands Across
the Wall ceremony. After it was over we went our separate ways temporarily,
Joe to a ball and myself to join Byrdie, Josh and Cameron at a dinner with
the 1st Cavalry Regiment of the Federal Volunteer Brigade at O'Rourk's. The
food was great as was the company. Then it was back to the Eisenhower where
Joe and I relaxed on the balcony of our room over the indoor pool before
retiring for the evening.

Sunday we all said good bye to Joe at check out and went off to the pancake
breakfast at the GAR. Then we spent some time getting a little Christmas
shopping done in town before lunch with friends from the 1st Cavalry
Regiment and heading out to the battlefield for a few stops and finally the
long drive back to West Virginia. It was a great experience and we all hope
to make it again next year.

Nick Korolev


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