Thursday, 4:30 - 5:15 pm
Gettysburg was not only the scene of the most famous battle of the Civil War, but also both the largest and last reunions of the Blue and Gray. The road to these landmark events began nearby when the State of Maryland dedicated its own monument on the Antietam battlefield in 1900. With the gulf not yet closed between North and South, the idea of a state monument dedicated to the men of both armies who had fought each other on that famous battlefield opened the door for reconciliation on a grand scale. The State of Pennsylvania seized on this concept and working with the federal government invited ever living veteran of the Civil War, both Union and Confederate, to a grand reunion at Gettysburg on the 50th anniversary of the battle in 1913. The event was an unqualified success with over 50,000 veterans combined from both armies in attendance. During the closing ceremonies the Governor of Pennsylvania invited every living veteran of the Civil War to return to Gettysburg on the 75th anniversary of the battle for a final reunion of the Blue and Gray. Remarkably this event did take place in 1938. Dan Toomey, the author of several books on the Civil War in Maryland and the Veteran’s Period, will cover the highlights of these two very different reunions.