National News

June 28, 2013

Damaged Gettysburg statue returns for anniversary

GETTYSBURG, Pa. — A statue of a Union soldier on the Gettysburg battlefield damaged by high winds is back on its post in time for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the pivotal battle of the American Civil War.

About 200,000 people are expected to visit this crossroads town in south-central Pennsylvania over a 10-day period starting Friday to commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place July 1-3, 1863. The schedule is chock-full of re-enactments and battlefield tours, plus the National Park Service’s official commemorative ceremony on Sunday night featuring historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

“It’s been three or four years of planning,” Park Service spokesman Mike Litterst said. “In a lot of ways, this is the Olympic moment for Gettysburg.”

It is one in which one of the battlefield’s most memorable statues has been returned to its pedestal after being felled by high winds Tuesday.

The monument to the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry portrays a Union soldier swinging his rifle like a club. The musket barrel was bent after landing on the ground, while the shoulder area suffered a little damage, Litterst said.

The monument restoration staff gave it a temporary fix to allow it to be displayed during the anniversary week events.

Monuments typically mark — or come close to marking — the locations on the battlefield at which soldiers fought. The 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry defended a key spot on the third day of battle against the famed Confederate advance known as “Pickett’s Charge.”

It will stay up through anniversary events before being taken down for more extensive repairs.

“All things considered, the damage could have been much, much worse,” Litterst said.

The Blue-Gray Alliance, a re-enactment group, opens the schedule Friday with its first of three days of battle re-creations on a private farm. Organizers expected about 10,000 Civil War buffs to take part.

The National Park Service programs include a Pickett’s Charge “commemorative march” on the actual battlefield, during which nine park rangers will lead groups representing each of the nine Confederate brigades that took part in the failed assault on the entrenched Union positions on Cemetery Ridge.

Another re-enactment held by the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee is scheduled on a farm north of town July 4-7. Re-enactments are held on private properties.

Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, with about 51,000 casualties. It was the Confederate Army’s northernmost advance in the war.

 

1
Text Only
National News
  • NASA’s space station Robonaut finally getting legs

    Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs.

    April 19, 2014

  • Documents detail another delayed GM recall

    Government documents show that General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite getting thousands of consumer complaints and warranty repair claims.

    April 19, 2014

  • Captain of sunken SKorean ferry, 2 crew arrested

    The captain of the ferry that sank off South Korea, leaving more than 300 missing or dead, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Two crew members also were taken into custody, including a rookie third mate who a prosecutor said was steering in challenging waters unfamiliar to her when the accident occurred.

    April 19, 2014

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats

    As President Barack Obama travels through Asia this coming week, he will confront a region that’s warily watching the crisis in Ukraine through the prism of its own territorial tensions with China.

    April 19, 2014

  • Delay won’t quell 2014 wrangling over Keystone XL

    Democrats sweating this year’s elections may be hoping that the Obama administration’s latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.

    April 19, 2014

  • 5 features an Amazon phone might offer

    A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

    April 19, 2014

  • Colorado deaths stoke worries about pot edibles

    A college student eats more than the recommended dose of a marijuana-laced cookie and jumps to his death from a hotel balcony. A husband with no history of violence is accused of shooting his wife in the head, possibly after eating pot-infused candy.

    April 19, 2014

  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors

    With an expanded field of runners and the memory of last year’s bombings elevating interest in one of the world’s great races, the 2014 Boston Marathon could bring an unprecedented wave of visitors and an influx of tourism dollars to the area.

    April 19, 2014

  • Autopsy to ID dead boy; body cast off side of road

    All Massachusetts authorities could say for sure is that they found the lifeless body of a small boy, apparently cast off the side of a highway.

    April 19, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know: This Week’s Takeaways

    Looking back at the stories to remember from the past week:

    April 19, 2014