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Civil War anniversary brings out tens of thousands

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 06 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 08 2013 05:20:50 AM CDT

Civil War Milestone

GETTYSBURG, Pa. -

Close to 80,000 people made the trek to Gettysburg to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the civil war battle in Adams County.

Some re-enactors hope spectators leave knowing a little more about history.

After the battle is over and before a new reenactment begins, people participating in the Gettysburg 150th celebration say there is a lot to think about.

"I would like to see people nowadays take more of an interest and see just how strong Pennsylvanians were back then and even today," said Christopher Cook from Stroudsburg.

Cook is representing the 142nd regiment from Pennsylvania.

Organizers say he is just one of 12,000 re-enactors from all over the nation.

Cook says he likes to answer questions between battles like what it feels to be in battle and the obvious one,

"Is it hot in that wool," added Cook. "And of course it is."

Others say this is a chance to help people understand the battle between the Union and Confederate Armies in 1863.

"For the weekend you get to sort of step back in time and we try to the best of our ability to have everything as accurate here as possible," said Elden Cattell, from Tacumseh, Michigan.

A lot of the reenactors say they had to participate in the 150th celebration at Gettysburg.

Not only to be a part of the celebration, but to keep history lessons alive.

"I was talking to a person I know and I asked him who won the Civil War, just to give him a quiz," said Cook. "and he could not tell me. He did not know."

"They teach it in the schools but it's nothing like coming here and seeing this actual event and seeing what it was really all about," added Kristy Hal, a spectator of the event.

Reenactors say seeing is believing and they hope it's a history lesson people keep with them for a lifetime.