Posts Tagged With: Gettysburg

Civil War diorama: Gettysburg on June 30, 1863


My friend Larry Reber of was kind enough to send me a series of recent photographs he took of the old diorama of downtown Gettysburg as depicted on June 30, 1863, as Brig. Gen. John Buford leads his cavalry into the town square. They are headed west of town to the ridges near Marsh Creek, where videttes and patrols will keep an eye out for Confederates advancing from the west. Additional troopers will fan out north of town, watching for Ewell’s Corps coming down from Carlisle.

The diorama originally was part of the old Charley Weaver Museum on Cemetery Hill, which went under new ownership after “Weaver” died (his real name was Cliff Arquette). The diorama is now in the Union Drummer Boy relics shop on Baltimore Street. Over the next few days, I will post nearly two dozen shots of this interesting diorama. While not exactly historically accurate, it does give a good useful representation of the Gettysburg that John Buford would have seen.

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My book on the June 1863 Gordon Expedition now at the printers!!!


All the files and graphics have now been sent to the printer, and this is in the queue. I expect proof copies in the next few weeks, with printing to follow in December / January. We expect a nationwide launch late in Q1 or early Q2 ’09. I will have first edition, autographed books for sale personally before then.

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Model diorama of 1863 Gettysburg train station


Photograph from the Gettysburg Daily. To read the complete post of this Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide, please follow this link.

The old Gettysburg Railroad depot on Carlisle Street in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was restored a few years ago and now is a free museum and visitors center open to the public. Inside are several dsiplay cases with artifacts and interpretive markers, as well as a couple very nicely done models / dioramas of what the train station looked like in 1863. The diorama shown above is the centerpiece. The open area to the left of the station was filled with temporary hospital tents from July 7 through July 22 as a minimum of two trains of patients left each day  (9 a.m. and 4 p.m.) for Hanover Junction and then to Baltimore, New York City, Harrisburg, or here to my hometown, York, Pennsylvania.

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15mm East Cemetery Hill Johnny Reb 3 game


Here is a scene from one of my Johnny Reb 3 wargames of the Battle of Gettysburg. The photograph shows some of the Union artillery batteries on the crest of Cemetery Hill on July 2, 1863. The actual military action is described in detail in my manuscript on the Louisiana Tigers’ attack on the Union XI Corps line just to the upper left of this vista. The cemetery headstones were carved from balsa wood. The gatehouse model was painted by Doug Kline of Battlefield Terrain Concepts and is typical of his excellent work.

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A Flattering Review!

Gettysburg author and researcher Jay Jorgensen has written a very complimentary review of Volume 2 of my Human Interest Stories from the Gettysburg Campaign. It can be read here. Thanks, Jay!

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Jim Kopchak’s 15mm ACW wargame

All photos by Doug Rogers of Mentor, Ohio. Click to enlarge.

Jim Kopchak is a Cleveland-area wargamer that I first met when I lived in the “snow belt” in an adjoining county. He’s a great guy and a talented gamer, who happens to consistently roll the dice better than me when we used to occasionally play Johnny Reb 3 together! In that regard, he certainly is not unique! LOL. Jim has published an interesting set of Civil War miniature wargaming rules entitled Civil War Commander. Here are some photos taken my my old buddy Doug Rogers at a recent ACW game Jim ran at the Drums Across the Maumee wargaming convention sponsored by HMGS-Great Lakes.

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JRGS members visit the Gettysburg Battlewalks 2008

Gettysburg Park Ranger Eric Campbell discusses the July 2 activities and actions of Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock during the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the 145th Anniversary battlewalk earlier today. (Click all photos to enlarge them)

JRGS members and veteran wargamers Billy Ray Wagenseller, Curt Daniels, Roxanne Patton, Tom Mingus, and Scott Mingus were among the very large crowd taking in Eric Campbell’s extensive overview of General Hancock’s efforts to hold the left center during Longstreet’s Assault on July 2, 1863, 145 years ago today. (Click to enlarge – Curt is wearing the orange hat at the left center; his wife is to his immediate left; Tom is just in front of Curt wearing the green Mount Vernon Nazarene University shirt and blue parachute pants; Roxanne is to his right with the straw hat and light blue shorts; Billy Ray and Andrea are obscured by the mob.)

The Codori farm on a bright, sunny, beautiful morning in the Gettysburg National Military Park.

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Civil War gaming in Ireland!!


On the third day, the Union takes the offensive – Slocum’s Corps advances past the Wheatfield.

As we approach the 145th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg this upcoming week, there are a myriad of activities planned for the Gettysburg area, including two (not one as usual) different organized reenactments, book signings, concerts, talks, ceremonies, battle walks, period balls, etc. Unfortunately, there are no scheduled public wargames in Gettysburg to my knowledge. So, we have to be content with looking at wargames done by other folks, including these shots of a Gettysburg game from Donogh McCarthy from Dublin, Ireland – very appropriate because of the Irish Brigade’s heritage in the actual battle!

Something the real general didn’t try at Gettysburg – a miniature Alfred Pleasonton leads a saber charge at oncoming Rebels by the Gettysburg Railroad.
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Some more 15mm ACW gaming action!

Note how all the farm fields add color and variety to this gaming tabletop, which represents my 15mm depiction of the fighting on Day 1 of the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. Specifically, this is the area between Blocher’s Knoll / Rock Creek and the Adams County Almshouse. The Schultz mansion is the white house in the upper right corner of the photograph. The actual house still stands, although the barn, fencing, and outbuildings are long gone. This house served for some time as Dick Ewell’s HQ and conference room.

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Through the eyes of a child

I am on vacation this week helping my wife babysit our two-year-old grandson. What an absolute joy! My own kids have all completed their college undergrads and the two oldest hold master’s degrees in their fields. All of their toys from when they were little kids are still in a whole bunch of boxes in our “warehouse room” in our basement, along with my old toy Marx playsets and toy soldiers. I have dug out some of my oldest son’s old Fisher Price playsets and other vintage toys for my grandson to enjoy, and this morning he has been happily playing with them.

You can tell that he is a product of a family who loves history and frequents the nearby Gettysburg battlefield. In our yard, we have a series of small round flat stepping stones that have mythical faces of the moon, sun, and various stars on them. We use them to mark the four corners of our property. As these are gray in color and stone in texture, the little guy delights in running around the yard and finding them. To my surprise, he informed me they are “sol-jers” like at Gettysburg. He apparently compares them to the many stone monuments at the Gettysburg National Military Park. Yesterday, at least six or times he asked to see the “sol-jers,” and spent many happy minutes walking the perimeter of my subdivision lot to find them.

It won’t be long before he and I are debating the merits of Stuart’s ride or the wisdom of launching Pickett’s Charge. His love for the battlefield monuments and grandpa’s yard “sol-jers” are themselves stepping stones to what hopefully will be a lifelong interest in learning about what our past was so we can dream about what tomorrow may be. 

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