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The First Day - The Great Battle Begins II
Pictures taken July 3, 1998 at the 135th Reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg.



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General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, had won many battles with the Union when he came to Gettysburg. The most recent was a brilliant victory at Chancellorsville, VA in May 1863.
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Here officers scout the aftermath of the first days battle where 35 % of the men engaged were casualties. blank1.gif (49 bytes) Dr. Beetley's wife, Kate and daughter, Elizabeth, were with him at the reenactment. Even though from Texas, they reenact with the 173rd NY because that regiment fought, among other places, in eastern Texas during the Civil War.
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Wagons pulled by mules were used to gather wounded off the field to be taken
to a field hospital.
070398cc0113.JPG (7680 bytes) blank1.gif (49 bytes) At the 173rd NY Field Hospital, Dr. Beetly of Austin TX explained how he used his medical equipment. Here his operating table was a door he found and had taken off it's hinges. They didn't understand about germs at that time and so no disinfectents were used. Because of this lack of knowledge, hundreds of thousands died.
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Despite bad or no pay and worse conditions, thousands of women such as this one served as army nurses assisting with amputations, washing clothes, cooking food and trying to make the men as comfortable as possible. blank1.gif (49 bytes)

Medical supplies, plentiful at this hospital, were often in short supply, especially for the Confederates.

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With more reenactors at one place than ever before, many new friends were made.  Here Barry Lane of the 31st Tenn, A Company (from Bartlett, TN) meets Tom Rhodes of the 6th U.S. Regiment,  G Company from San Diego, California. It turned out that Tom's ancestors are from Barry's hometown. Unlike 135 years ago, the reenactors are friendly and congenial toward all their fellow hobbyists. They symbolize the unity of our country today.

President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address transformed Gettysburg from a town that represented another Civil War battle into a town that represents peace and equality.


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