first_img o In 1913, about 50,000 Union and Confederate veterans held a reunion at Gettysburg National Military Park to mark the 50th anniversary of the battle.o In 1938, about 2,000 Union and Confederate veterans — most in their 90s, fewer than 70 of whom veterans of the actual battle — gathered for the 75th anniversary of Gettysburg. Movie cameras recorded their reminiscences (including a genuine film Rebel Yell):“I died at Antietam,” Jim Waite said as he reflected on his Civil War experiences.“I died at the Battle of Nashville,” he continued.And at the Battle of Franklin, he turned his blue-jacketed back to the Rebels and ran.Now Waite is getting ready for the Battle of Gettysburg.“This is the one everybody’s been looking at,” the Vancouver re-enactor said. “I’ve been targeting this.”The July 4-7 commemoration will mark the 150th anniversary of the battle that changed the course of the Civil War.Waite and 19 other local participants will be among up to 15,000 re-enactors wearing blue or gray. The combined forces will include 400 horses and 135 full-size artillery pieces.These Yankees and Confederates will replay nine different engagements that were fought from July 1-3, 1863, during the Battle of Gettysburg.The 150th anniversary’s re-enactment finale on July 7 will be Pickett’s Charge, named for a Confederate general who had served at Fort Vancouver in the 1850s.Waite is a member of the 1st Oregon Volunteers, who represent a unit that was stationed at Fort Vancouver 150 years ago. The volunteers held down the fort when U.S. Army troops left to fight in the Civil War.The 1st Oregon is a familiar part of soldiers’ bivouacs and living-history presentations at the Fort Vancouver National Historical Site.Since the 1st Oregon served in the Northwest, the group adopts another identity for Civil War re-enactments: Company A of the 20th Maine, which played a major role at Gettysburg. Provided by Jim WaiteVancouver re-enactor Jim Waite says one of his relatives fought in the Civil War.last_img read more

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