The 53rd P.V.I. attends numerous battle reenactments and living history events throughout the year. In the past, we’ve attended Sailor’s Creek, Gettysburg, Burkittsville, Bentonville, Spotsylvania Court House, Chancellorsville, “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 and even dress parade.

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, writing home, and 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, Berks Heritage Center (Gruber Wagon Works) near Reading, Landis Valley Museum in Lancaster, Fort McHenry in Baltimore, and various other state and national historic sites.  We have also participated in many other interesting and unusual events including background artists in documentaries and paintings.  Our members have also 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 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 and NCOs 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 an 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.

2024 53rd PVI Event Schedule:

13 January – Annual Holiday Party – Dobbin House
10 February – Winter Drill – Landis Valley (NOTE THE NEW DATE!)
2~3 March – NR School Of Instruction – Gettysburg
6~7 April – NR Camp of Instruction – Gruber Wagon Works (Federal Alliance)*
4~5 May – 160th Wilderness – Spotsylvania, VA*
4 May – POSA Living History – Robesonia, PA
18 May – Lancaster Cemetery Flag-in event
27 May – Hummelstown Memorial Day Parade
20~21 July – Landis Valley “Civil War Days”
14~15 September – Gettysburg Living History – PA Monument
19~20 October – 160th Cedar Creek – Middletown, VA*
16 November – Remembrance Day (NR Annual Meeting and Parade) – Gettysburg, PA

*NR max effort events