About 200,000 visitors are expected to visit Gettysburg, Pa., to mark the 150th anniversary of the battle that turned the tide of the Civil War, and the town that is about three times the size it was in 1863, but its pride is even larger as it gears up to show off the history and buildings that still bear cannonball and shrapnel, The Associated Press reported.
“This opportunity won’t come again. It’s our Olympic moment,” the AP quoted Randy Phiel, the county’s top elected official and annual re-enactment’s logistics manager.
The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia under Gen. Robert E. Lee had launched his army to attack in the North and was headed toward Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania capital with strong trading ties with Baltimore but was repulsed by Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade’s Army of the Potomac after the three-day conflagration that began on July 1.
The following November, to dedicate Gettysburg National Cemetery, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.
Richard Waybright, 83, told the AP he remembers his grandfather recalling the battle on its 75th anniversary in 1938.
Gettysburg National Military Park is planning about 400 events from June 28 through July 7 to commemorate the battle that claimed a total of about 50,000 casualties of dead, wounded or captured scheduled for June 28 through July 7.