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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:52 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Old Northwest (Michigan)
Fellow Sharpshooters.

I recieved this email from the BGA folks this morning and thought to post it here so sharpshooters who are undecided about which event to attend (or are just curious on how the planning is proceeding) will have the latest information. FYI Brian "Artemus Cross" White and I, "Charles Boardman Mead" will be representing the Granite State's contribution to the USSS. Hope to see you there.

Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad USSS

150th Gettysburg Bushey Farm site visit and planning update

Blue Gray Alliance leaders from over 16 reenacting organizations met in Gettysburg March 1-3, 2013 for a site visit and planning meetings for the reenactment to take place June 27-30, 2013.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 3/7/2013

Kris Shelton
Event Media Coordinator
Longstreet�s Corps/Blue Gray Alliance

It wasn't called a reunion at Gettysburg, but it could have been as dozens of veterans of the 135th Gettysburg reenactment gathered once again at the Bushey Farm to match maps to landscape in preparation for the 150th Commemoration and Reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg. The event will be held June 27-30, 2013 at the Bushey Farm and adjacent properties and will offer large scale, historically accurate battles with 10,000 to 12,000 reenactors expected to participate.

Over the weekend of March 1-3, 2013, close to 100 people including commanders and staff from Blue Gray Alliance member organizations, landowners, service providers, community partners, photographers, and friends put their heads together to talk though and finalize planning details. Federal and Confederate infantry, artillery, and cavalry commanders, division, brigade, corps, and battalion commanders and many of their staffs joined in the site visit. Those present included members of Longstreet's Corps, Cleburne's Division, First Federal Division, U.S. Volunteers, Union Volunteers, Southern Division, King's Division, Huckabee's Division, Mifflin Guard, Army of the Ohio, Valley Division, Jackson's Corps, Murray's Brigade, the Blue Gray Alliance Civilian Towns, and others.

We had a tremendous turn out with dedicated cooperation between all those who attended, commented General Terry Shelton, Overall Commander. It's a common cause, and we're all pulling together for the battles to be of the quality and accuracy no one has ever seen before.

Some of the main topics of discussion included battle scenarios and unit portrayals, traffic flow, registration, event rules, media staging, and future work weekends.

Battle Scenarios Finalized

Months of scenario preparation was applied to the site terrain and final adjustments made. Panoramic battles were finalized including Saturday's Devil's Den/Little Round Top/Wheatfield/Peach Orchard scenarios set to roll from right to left in an arc following the same timing and chronological order as they did in the original battle. These battles will take four hours to complete and will encompass detailed, historically accurate troop movements. The battle progression will culminate with the spectacular destruction of Humphrey's Division. With roughly half the participants at the site visit representing Federal and the other half representing Confederate command elements, all agreed to adhere to and enforce the scenarios to the detail in order to preserve the historical accuracy and to facilitate the plan for overlapping battles rising and falling on specifically designated terrain.

As the battle spills out of Little Round Top, we have two groves of cedars enclosing the Wheatfield where the grass will be left to grow long in a breathtaking replica of the actual Wheatfield, commented General Terry Shelton, Event Commander.

General Bob Minton, Federal Commander agreed, We're putting the maps on the land and making final adjustments. The terrain fits exactly what we're trying to do. We have a ravine to represent the Railroad Cut. For Pickett's Charge, we have an open field, a road, and a stand of trees. We'll be adding the wall and fence in the coming work weekends. It's all coming together after months of conference calls and pouring over the maps.

Federal officers from a dozen different reenacting units spent March 2 just two miles from the National Military Park in Gettysburg. They are checking their camping area against an aerial map of the sprawling site.

Confederate commander, division commanders, brigade commanders, battalion commanders and staff look at "Little Round Top" on the Bushey Farm in Gettysburg last weekend.

Traffic Patterns Set to Avoid Back Ups

Traffic patterns were refined both outside the site and internally with alternate routes designated. Spectator traffic from the north will be funneled into the north parking lot, spectator traffic from the south will be funneled into the south parking lot, and shuttles will take spectators from the parking lots to the site. An area will be designated for tour bus parking and loading/unloading. Shuttles will also run within the site to the camps and to reenactor parking. In order to mitigate reenactor traffic congestion on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, there will be specific routing maps used and all participants will be expected to stop, drop, and park where they arrive at camp, unload, and go to reenactor parking then come back to set up camp.

Registration Process Streamlined

Registration has been worked and reworked to avoid any backups or delays in getting reenactors registered and onto the site. Registration will open at 8am on Wednesday, June 26 and reenactors will be allowed to stay on site until Tuesday, July 2. Reenactors camping in the civilian-only "Town of Gettysburg," will need to arrive, unload, and park in reenactor parking prior to the town meeting at 7pm on Thursday night. The Town of Gettysburg camp will be closed to vehicles at 6pm on Thursday until after the battle on Sunday. The Federal military camps will close to cars at noon on Friday. Confederate military camps will close to cars at 4:30pm on Friday. For those arriving late, limited shuttle service to the camps will be available. Reenactors are advised to arrive prior to the camps closing to cars or to prepare to carry gear into the site from the parking area.

To streamline the registration process and due to the large numbers of cavalry and mounted artillery expected, cavalry reenactors with horses will proceed directly to the cavalry camp (both Federal and Confederate). Health and Coggins certificates will be checked for horses, and reenactors will be able to register at that time.

Common Sense: Event Rules

The event will necessarily have some specific event rules as well. Much of it is common sense, but the primary rule is to respect the landowners and land so that the ground is left in an undamaged state. This means no damage to the structures including fences, no cutting live trees, no digging latrines. A bucket of water must be positioned at every fire pit and fire pits should be filled in at the end of the event. No one is to visit the property without prior permission of the landowners and notice to K.C. Meadows, the event organizer. Before, during, and after the event, reenactors and spectators will be prohibited from entering off site areas which will be clearly marked and enforced/patrolled with security.

K.C. Meadows, Event Organizer emphasizes these points, "Due to the large numbers expected and Township requirements, this event will have some firm rules that we will have to enforce diligently for everyone's comfort and safety." He continued, "amenities have been placed according to Township requirements for ease of use and safety as well as refill and service. Emergency plans and services have been finalized and maps have been worked into grids for ease in locating areas where services are needed. All commands have been briefed and will be updated on site with the emergency procedures as well as be provided all emergency plan documents."

Significant Media Presence Expected

The Blue Gray Alliance has been working closely with the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau to make the event attractive and accessible to media. The bureau will be issuing press passes for the 150th Commemoration and Reeanctment of the Battle of Gettysburg. Press rules and the process for obtaining press passes can be found on the website High level media coming to Gettysburg to cover the anniversary period will be housed in dorms on the Gettysburg College Campus. On the event site, parking areas for 20-30 media trucks and satellite vans has been designated. A staging area has been defined for the Associated Press to set up a continuous live HD feed from the event. Any news station in the country will be able to tap into this feed to visit the battlefield live during the event and broadcast it through their news channel. The Alliance is working with a global satellite company to set up temporary use satellite equipment dedicated to the event so cellular networks are not overwhelmed by the demand from the site during the event.

The spectator areas can accommodate 80,000 people with two areas designated as press only areas. The extended spectator line will also have three different areas designated for first aid/medical tents. There will also be two areas for media tents including a small media tent at the far end of the spectator line. The main media tent will be set up next to the activities/speakers tent and adjacent to the Wide Awake Films tent where raw HD footage of the event will be shown on a large screen. Wide Awake Films will be offering an official event HD-DVD from the footage taken during the battles with videographers embedded into the ranks of soldiers. The media tent will offer media registration as well as a wifi hotspot for press and light refreshments for the press.

The 150th Commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg will be a once in a lifetime event for all involved. Besides the large-scale battles on terrain similar to the original battlefield, the event will have a civilian-only Town of Gettysburg, a speaker's tent for living historian talks, authors doing book signings, and period music, sutlers, food vendors, a period church service, a period Catholic mass, and a Civil War Ball on Saturday night, June 29th with music provided by the Emmy award winning group Unreconstructed String Band.

Registration is $20. Spectator tickets are $10 with children 12 and under free. Parking is free. Please visit to purchase tickets or for more information on the event.

The Blue Gray Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization comprised of many of the major reenacting organizations across the country including over 18,000 members. Member organizations share common goals including reenactments planned and managed by reenactors to ensure the experience is authentic and rewarding for all. For more information on Blue Gray Alliance member organizations, visit

For additional information regarding the 150th Commemoration and Reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg, a Blue Gray Alliance event, visit or find us on Facebook or Twitter @150thGettysburg.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:26 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:04 am
Posts: 17
Location: Amherst, NH
Just a quick correction. Those Sharpshooters were from the Green Mountain State (VT) not the Granite State (NH).

Bonnie Knott

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:48 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Old Northwest (Michigan)
Greetings Bonnie,

With such sharp eyes you need to join us on the skirmish line. Thank you for making the correction, (I know that Green Mountain boys Cross and Mead can rest easier now). Glad to know you are still perusing the Forum and hope that you will be contributing more in the future.

Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad Mess-USSS
Chief Bugler-USV 4th Battalion (Sharpshooters)
150 Gettysburg

PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 12
I do hope we get a good turnout of USSS members. The 2nd day will be an awesome day. Fighting from 2pm to 6 pm will be one heck of a day, and we will get a feel (except for the actual mini balls and shells flying through the air) of what the USSS experienced that day. Also I do believe that we will be holding the left flank on the 3rd day. Any more work on that Mr Skillman???

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