Excitement is building in Gettysburg, Pa., these days as the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg will be commemorated in the next few days. Back in 1913 the local excitement of Civil War veterans was also building as they prepared for a 50th year reunion with members of the 121st New York Infantry Regiment and others in South Central Pennsylvania.
The Oneonta Star of Tuesday, July 1, 1913, reported, “Yesterday, at 8:15, about 100 veterans, most of them from this city but including some from points along the U. & D. and trolley roads and other nearby villages, embarked upon the special train on the D. & H. provided to convey them to Wilkes-Barre, where they took the Reading via Allentown for Gettysburg. The train started at Cobleskill and took passengers only as far as Nineveh and provision had been made for 400 who had arranged for tickets for this train.”
It was a four-day excursion and the veterans were guests of the state on the trip. The program of the celebration began on Wednesday.
From national reports supplied to the Star, the soldiers who used guns and bullets in July 1863 were now faced with intense heat at the ceremonies.
“In the pitiless glare of a sun that sent the mercury bubbling over the one hundred mark and made clothes a burden and baths only a delusion, the armies of the north and south today began the formal exercises set to mark the semi-centennial of Gettysburg.
“Veterans to the number of 15,000 the army officers estimated, filed into the big tent set apart for the exercises, sat in the haze of heat for two hours and shook the camp with their cheers when the speakers made reference to a reunited nation.”
“Although the men in gray were far outnumbered by those in blue, there were probably a thousand southerners throughout the amphitheater, and what they lacked in numbers they made up in their lung power.”