Infantry, cavalry, artillery and laundry
GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Elizabeth Hallett, of Newburyport, Mass., Will be one of the re-enactors at Gettysburg’s 158th anniversary reenactment. But she’s not going to put on a uniform. Instead, she’ll portray an often underrated and often forgotten individual, the corporate laundress.
“You definitely have an army on the ground and you don’t think about the mundane things like laundry that needs to be done, and how did they do that, how did they accomplish that on the ground,” she said. . “Both armies had washerwomen who had to be women of good character, you couldn’t just be a night fly, floozy coming to follow the army. You had to have letters of recommendation and be accepted to follow the armies.
“In fact,” she adds, “it was a really good way for a woman to make a living at the time. “
The re-enactment takes place on Saturday and Sunday July 4. Tents and stalls are set up all over the Daniel Lady Farm, which is owned by the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association. According to Kirk David, president of GBPA, events like the reenactment help fund the Association’s activities.
“The repair and maintenance of monuments, we have a trust fund that we donate money to the park every year. “
During the battle, the farm served as a field hospital for the Second Division of the Second Corps of the Confederate Army. Most of the injured were treated in the barn.
“There were about twelve hundred men who were taken care of there and one hundred in our house,” Davis said. “The enlisted personnel went to the barn, the officers were taken care of in the house.”
The event will include artillery and cavalry demonstrations, and presentations on a variety of Civil War topics. On Saturday, they will reenact the final phase of the Battle of Culp’s Hill; Sunday will see the battle at the wheatfield. Davis says the uneven terrain of the farm adds to the realism.
“The outlines fall and rise, you can actually lose four or five hundred soldiers in those low areas, then all of a sudden the excitement of a flag appearing and then shortly after the soldiers, lends itself to the way. which he was in many battles.
Elizabeth Hallett can’t wait to get her portrait of a laundress. Kids love its demonstrations, especially when they can run clothes through the wringer. She shows off a sock that has been squeezed so many times that it has almost doubled its original length. “These are the cleanest socks in the camp because they repeat themselves all day,” she said.
Whether it’s a small thing like a clean sock or a big thing like a battle, Davis says reenactments can teach history in ways that classrooms can’t. Often times, it’s easier to learn something if you hear or see it than to just read it in a book. he said. “Americans today don’t really know the hardships these men went through. You have to remember that the Union Army traveled over a hundred miles to get here, just like the Confederate Army.