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 and mounted 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 again. In this capacity, we seek to educate the public 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, PA, Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, PA, Eckley Miners’ Village near Hazleton, PA, Fort McHenry in Baltimore, MD 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 the season with a festive holiday Christmas dinner and party. Members choose a place that recreates the ambiance for a mid-nineteenth century feast.
In essence, the 53rd Pennsylvania usually attends at least one event every month of the year. 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.
2017 Event Schedule:
4 February – Winter Drill – Landis Valley Museum – Lancaster, PA
25 February – Cartridge Rolling Party (Private)
8 April – 53rd Monument Cleanup – Gettysburg, PA (changed from 1 April due to wet conditions)
29 April – Spring Drill – Antietam (ELF Event)
20 – 21 May – New Market Reenactment – New Market, VA
29 May – Memorial Day Parade – Hummelstown, PA
22 – 23 July – Landis Valley Museum ‘Civil War Days’ – Lancaster, PA
30 July – Gruber Wagon Works – Berks County, PA
15 – 17 September – South Mountain Reenactment – Burkittsville, MD
7 – 8 October – Gettysburg Living History – Spanglers Spring – Gettysburg NMP
5 November – 53rd Monument Cleanup – Gettysburg NMP
2 December – Annual Membership Meeting (Private)
Secondary Event Schedule:
25 – 26 February – National Regiment Officer/NCO School of Instruction – Gettysburg, PA (Private)
6 – 9 April – 155th Shiloh Reenactment – Shiloh, TN
5 – 7 May – 155th McDowell Reenactment – McDowell, VA
20 – 21 May – Army Heritage Days – USAHEC – Carlisle, PA
2 – 4 June – On to Richmond – Richmond, VA
24 – 25 June – Corbitt’s Charge – Westminster, MD
1 – 4 July – Gettysburg Reenactment – Yingling Farm – Gettysburg, PA
15 – 16 July – Civil War Days at the Winery – Manassas, VA
14 – 15 October – Battle of Cedar Creek Reenactment – Middletown, VA
18 November – Remembrance Day Parade – Gettysburg, PA