The 53rd P.V.I. attends several 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 , “Gates of Washington” (Monocacy), Cedar Creek, Antietam, “Lee Takes Command” (Elizabethtown, PA), and other reenactments of battles. Our unit is a member of the National Regiment, a regimental-sized organization that embraces more than twenty Union infantry groups. At the larger events, the National Regiment acts as a single unit, giving its members a special thrill as we recreate a Civil War regiment, complete with a band, field officers, and staff officers.
We pride 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 ion 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 Berks Heritage Center near Reading, Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, Eckley Miners’ Village near Hazleton, 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 and documentaries. Several of our members participated in the motion pictures “Glory”, “Gettysburg”, “Gods & Generals”, and other numerous television documentary programs. 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. 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 Christmas dinner and 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.
2018 Event Schedule:
13 January – Holiday Party (Private) – Gettysburg
3 February – Winter Drill (Landis Valley) – Lancaster [Backup Date – 17 February]
3 March – Cartridge Rolling Party – Kleinfeltersville
7 April – Spring Adopt-A-Position (Monument Cleanup) – Gettysburg NMP
21 – 22 April – Living History – Gettysburg NMP
19 – 20 May – USAHEC – Carlisle, PA
28 May – Memorial Day Parade – Hummelstown
22 July – Gruber Wagon Works – Reading
28 – 29 July – Landis Valley – Lancaster
7 – 9 September – 155th South Mountain – Burkittsville, MD (NR Max Effort)
6 – 7 October – Living History – Gettysburg NMP
3 November – Fall Adopt-A-Position (Monument Cleanup) – Gettysburg NMP
17 November – Remembrance Day Parade – Gettysburg
1 December – Annual Meeting (private)
2018 Secondary Event SCHEDULE:
17 – 18 February – National Regiment Officer/NCO School – Gettysburg
19 – 20 May – New Market Re-enactment – NR Max Effort
2 – 3 June – Wilson’s Wharf – Ft. Pocahontas Charles City, VA (ELF)
5 – 8 July – 155th Gettysburg Re-enactment – Gettysburg NMP
11 – 12 August – Cedar Mountain LH (1st MN)