The 53rd P.V.I. attends numerous battle reenactments and living history events throughout the year. Some of the reenactments we’ve attended include Sailor’s Creek, Gettysburg, Burkittsville, Bentonville, Spotsylvania Court House, 150th Anniversary of Chancellorsville, 150th Anniversary of Gettysburg (NPS), “Gates of Washington” (Monocacy), Cedar Creek, Antietam, “Lee Takes Command” (Elizabethtown, PA), Shenandoah ’64, and other events. Our unit is a member of the National Regiment, a battalion-sized organization that includes more than twenty Federal infantry groups. At the larger events, the National Regiment acts as a single unit, giving its members a special thrill as we recreate a more realistic Civil War regiment, complete with a band, field officers, and staff officers.
The 53rd PVI prides ourselves on the “living history” aspect of the hobby. Civil War soldiers did not fight all the time. More often than not, they spent lots of time in camp drilling, cleaning their equipment, cooking, killing boredom, and then drilling some more. In this capacity, we seek to educate the public about how the Federal Civil War soldier lived on a daily basis. We regularly have living history encampments at Gettysburg National Military Park as well as the Berks Heritage Center near Reading, Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, Fort McHenry in Baltimore and many other state and national historic sites. We also participate in many other interesting and unusual events including background artists in movies, documentaries, and paintings. Our members have participated in various movies, including “Glory”, “Gettysburg”, “Gods & Generals”, “I Heard The Bells”, and other numerous television documentary programs on History Channel, etc. We are also active in campaign marches, whether it is a march from South Mountain to Antietam or a march into Gettysburg, we get the feel of what a “hike” was like for the typical soldier. The 53rd PVI also has participated in tactical events, similar to a simulated ‘war game’ where the officers must use their skill and knowledge of tactics to maneuver the men in the field under real-life situations in real-time. Whether making an assault on a fort or protecting your flank against the enemy, anything can occur at a tactical. Some of our members also specialize in speaking about the life of the soldier and Civil War medicine for schools, youth groups and other organizations. Contact us for further information and availability.
We wrap up each re-enacting season with a festive holiday party each January. Members choose a place that recreates the ambiance for a mid-nineteenth century feast.
The 53rd Pennsylvania usually attends at least one event per month. We meet over the winter to roll cartridges, drill, and integrate new members. Our yearly dues are used to offset the cost of buying company equipment such as powder and percussion caps.
2023 53rd PVI Events Schedule:
15 January – Holiday Party – Gettysburg (private)
4 February – Winter Drill – Landis Valley (our NR pards are invited)
18 -19 February – NR School of Instruction (Gettysburg Fire Hall)
25 March – Cartridge Rolling Party (1st Sgt.’s Home)
15 April – Robesonia – Patriotic Order Sons of America (POSofA) event
6 – 7 May – NR Camp Of Instruction (COI) – Gruber Wagon Works (Reading, PA)
29 May – Memorial Day Parade (Hummelstown) [Max Effort]
23 – 25 June – Gettysburg 160 [NR Max Effort]
15 – 16 July – Landis Valley Civil War Days (Lancaster) [Max Effort]
12 August – Safe Harbor Cemetery – grave rededication
8-10 September – Thunder on the Gauley (Summersville, WV – Carnifax Ferry Battlefield (NR MAX EFFORT)
14 – 15 October – USAHEC Army Heritage Days (Carlisle) [Max Effort]
18 November – Remembrance Day (Gettysburg) – NR Annual Meeting and Parade
Secondary schedule –
20 May – Lancaster Cemetery – grave decoration day
28-20 July – Receding Tide – Trenches of Williamsport
14-15 October – Cedar Creek re-enactment