Gettysburg Encampment, Gettysburg, PA
August 25-27, 2023
As part of the 160th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg the 1st Pa asked the 69th Pa to join them in reply to an invitation to encamp on the very grounds where the battle raged in July 1863. We were asked to encamp in front of the Pennsylvania monument and to provide 5 separate programs of marching, drill, maneuver and musket fire to the hundreds of visitors who came to Gettysburg to learn about what happened there.
At 3:00 Friday evening camp was established as the registered 69th members arrived, set up tents and enjoyed a meal of venison chili prepared by 2nd Lieutenant David O’Daniel. At 7:00 am reveille … roll call … & flag placement took place and the day began with drill. Starting at 10:00 am each hour the unit marched out of camp to the drill field for the visiting audience. Lunch that day was rabbit and sea bass to be followed that evening by “Gettysburg Stew”, corn on the cob, flounder and home made sourdough bread.
After the 2:00 presentations many of the unit walked to the stone wall and copse for a review of the July 3 battle. An exciting evening followed with music and singing around camp. Finally a special version of the traditional flag honoring around the fire as all assembled honored the 53 men from the 69th Pa and the 23 men killed from the 71st Pa at Gettysburg.
On Sunday a repeat of the 10:00am and noon presentations ended the day and the adventure. Weather was beautiful – no rain – plenty of breeze and sun. The event was a pleasure for the thirty four attendees. Visitors by the hundreds came to see us and talk in camp. This was a unique opportunity to have the members of the “69th West” (Central Pa) merge with the traditional 69th Pa for a joint effort.