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Andrew Homan, 6 th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Topic: Reenacting Gettysburg and Other Battles and Bert Sheard, CCWRT Topic: Photos of 150th Gettysburg
November 19, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
At our November 19th meeting, on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, we had a most appropriate “double-header”: two speakers relating to the 150th Anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg (fought July 1863). This was one of the largest attended events held during the Civil War Sesquicentennial.
First, we welcomed CCWRT member Bert Sheard, who showed us a number of photos he took at the commemoration, and gave us his spectator’s perspective on the event. As Bert mentioned, the encampments and reenactments took place on private pasture land close to the battlefield but not actually within the National Military Park. There were many Union and Confederate troops, welldressed and well-equipped, who reenacted much of the significant fighting. Big tents hosted educational programs on key aspects of the engagement.
Second, Mr. Andrew Homan, one of the Gettysburg reenactors, provided his perspective on the event. Drew (who is the grandson of our past president, Pat Homan) holds the rank of 1st Corporal in the 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a regiment recruited from the Cincinnati area (growing out of a pre-War militia unit named the Guthrie Grays). Drew said that the 6th OVI reenactors camped in tents among trees in woods near the battlefield and participated in all three days’ reenactments, portraying different Union troops: Day One: They played the part of 25th OVI troops on Cemetery Hill. Day Two: They were New York troops on Little Round Top. Day Three: Acting as 8th OVI troops on the right end of the Union line, they fired several volleys into Confederate troops during Pickett’s Charge. After completing the program on Gettysburg, Drew answered a number of audience questions about his experiences as a reenactor.
The 6th OVI group has about 50 members, half of whom are very active, and Andrew has participated in over 150 events, including, recently, at Shiloh, Chickamauga, and Cedar Creek. The regiment usually goes to the largest nearby reenactment, at Perryville, KY, and appears at local events such as the Memorial Day program at Spring Grove Cemetery. Drew sees Civil War reenactors as living historians whose mission is to “keep history alive” and educate youngsters about the Civil War. Drew explained the steps they follow when they prepare for battle reenactments. They dress and equip themselves with accuracy, own their rifles, and do their battlefield movements as realistically as circumstances allow.