In commemeration of the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Civil war our local PBS station has been rerunning Ken Burns "Civil War" film series from 1989. Last night, they had the last episode-the southern surrender and the aftermath. It included two "moving pictures", one from the "Great Reunion", the 50th anniversary reunion of the Battle of Gettysburg (1913) and one of the 75th anniversary reunion.
I wasn't able to find video of the 1913 reunion online but I did find some still pictures. I was able to find, at this same link, a video (not on the Ken Burns film) showing some of the veterans being wheeled in, one carried in on a stretcher, for the 75th anniversary reunion in 1938.
The last verified Civil War veteran died in 1956.
It has always amazed me, as a person who loves history, how I love to learn about the Civil War when, in fact, none of my family lived in the United States when the war was fought. Or, how I have memories of the 100th anniversary happening, but my parents weren't going to take me anywhere and so I never got to visit any Civil War sites before I was an adult. But the Civil War has a hold on my heart. There is just "something" about it, something that makes me want to learn and experience....more and more and more.
I am far from an expert, I wouldn't even call myself a Civil War buff, but there is just something about standing on a Civil War battlefield. It literally gives me chills. And, I can't wait to do Civil War related things over the next 5 years.
Because of vacation timing at work, I couldn't be at the beginning-in Charleston, SC, 150 years later, April 12, 2011. But I will be there in spirit, with some photos of my recent visit to Charleston and a couple of Civil War related activities. And hopefully, over the next 5 years, I'll be able to visit some special Civil War sites at the "right time."
Incidentally, there are a lot of Civil War websites - I enjoy one in particular, sonofthesouth.net, which contains a section that is a treasure trove of Civil War information. But there are many, many others.