150th Gettysburg Sojourn, Part 32

After a few more minutes, I saw some of my Pards who were members of our convoy group of eight.

As per our previous plan for assembly and departure from the Reenactment, we all started retiring from the battlefield as if we were wounded. It took a few minutes to get to a higher vantage point near the barn, which was our assembly point. Once there, we were able to view the whole field of fire.

There were stubborn pockets of Rebs still shooting at the Yanks, but the view of the field, with many soldiers still playing dead, was chilling.

historic photo Gettysburg aftermath

National Archives – Gettysburg, 1863

Our panorama of death and destruction was just a minuscule representation of that July 3rd day in 1863. Mangled bodies of both men and horses littered the ground. Screams of the wounded filled the air once the fighting stopped. Walking wounded stumbled toward medical tents for help. Blood irrigated the landscape.

Imagining these scenes the reality of war takes on a whole new meaning. It is not glorious at all. It is ghastly.

All but one of our group was there. But we knew he would show up at the parking lot, so we began our final trek to the vans. It didn’t take too long, but by the time we got to our vans the line of vehicles to get out of the reenactor parking lot was long. So, we decided to get out of our uniforms and into some civilian clothes. This didn’t take too long and soon we were back in the van and had our cell phones turned on.

We got a call from the other van. Since they were closer to the entrance, they had already gotten out and were waiting on us. We told them it would be about 30 minutes before we could meet them, so they gave us their position for a rendezvous once we had vacated the parking lot.

Let me tell you, trying to get in the main line of traffic moving out of a parking lot with a bunch of tired reenactors who just want to go home ain’t an easy proposition.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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