I am a(n) researcher and archivist.

Friday, December 31, 2010

General George Meade Birthday Celebration At The Laurel Hill Cemetery On December 31, 2010

On December 31, 2010, the General Meade Society teamed up with the Laurel Hill Cemetery to celebrate the 195 Birthday Anniversary of George Gordon Meade, the victorious General of the American Civil War's significant and pivotal Battle Of Gettysburg. The day featured reenactors and living historians portraying the roles of Victorian ladies, John Welsh (Minister/Ambassador To Great Britain in the Rutherford Birchard Hayes Administration), General Andrew Atkinson Humphreys (who was involved with the Battle Of Antietam, Battle Of Fredericksburg and Siege Of Petersburg), Union Regiments including the United States Colored Troops and more. What made the day additionally special and unique were the dedication of a headstone for Meade's mother, Margaret Coats Butler Meade (she did not have one to that point believe it or not) and the appearance of a descendant of the General, Major Chuck Meade (a decorated Veteran himself).
About 200 people attended the observance.

Anthony "Andy" Waskie, professor and historian who often portrays George Meade, introduces Major Chuck Meade:

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Chuck Meade reading from the Biblical Book Of Proverbs (Chapter 31):

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Just prior to the wreath-laying for Margaret Meade:

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A video of Chuck Meade speaking as well as the laying of the wreaths (with Anthony Waskie providing direction):



The newly-dedicated headstone:

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Falling in line prior to the march to the General's gravesite:

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The march to Meade's grave:



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A living historian (named Mike Wunsch) portraying John Welsh is reading a Proclamation sent by Pennsylvania's Governor Ed Rendell:

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A video featuring speeches and readings in memory of George Meade (including Jerry McCormick portraying Andrew Humphreys):



Troops awaiting instructions to fire their rifles (a nice shot with the bridges and tombstones in the background):

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Firing the rifles:

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A video showing the laying of several wreaths for Meade, the customary dropping of rose petals by the Sons Of Union Veterans (a Grand Army Of The Republic ritual performed in the nineteenth century) and a rifle salute closed by a musical piece ... I titled this part "Wreaths, Roses And Rifles":



This portion of the event featured toasts to the General:

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Here I am with some of the bubbly (non-alcoholic of course):

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Here are a couple shots of Meade's grave. You will note two nineteenth century CDV (carte-de-visite) images of the General placed in front of the gravestone.
I thought it fitting to bring them to the event.

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A short video of myself at the grave [my spoken part was recorded twice since I messed up (aka paused too long) on the first try]:



Here is a close-up of the two CDV's (dated circa 1860s or 1870s):

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Many more photos of the event can be found at this link -
http://s169.photobucket.com/albums/u213/portaltothepast/Reenactments/Civil%20War/George%20Meade%20Birthday%2012-31-2010/?start=all

Worthy acknowledgement goes to the crew at the Laurel Hill Cemetery for drying the area surrounding General Meade's grave. They did an extraordinary job clearing the snow away!

What a wonderful way to close the year 2010. It was a fine event and I am sure the General would be quite pleased with the sentiment as well as the number of enthusiastic participants and spectators. I heard the ceremony gets increasingly-popular by the year and for those of you interested in attending the Birthday Celebration in 2011, minor details have already been posted at this link - http://thelaurelhillcemetery.org/index.php?m=4&id=82

Here is Newsworks' article on the event: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/about-us/item/10285-celebrating-a-civil-war-hero-

The General Meade Society's website: http://generalmeadesociety.org
The Laurel Hill Cemetery's website: http://www.thelaurelhillcemetery.org
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Battle Of Trenton Revolutionary War Reenactment And A Visit To The Trent House On December 26, 2010

Trenton, New Jersey began its annual "Patriots' Week" with a rendition of the significant Battle Of Trenton, which was fought on this very day 234 years prior.

The Battle Of Trenton was part of the time line of Reenactments connecting this event to yesterday's Washington's Crossing event. Soldiers took to the streets of Trenton and the city's Mill Hill Park. People walking through town, through the park and leaving church services were treated to, and perhaps shocked by, the sights of the old War For Independence. What made this Reenactment truly special was the light snowfall, and, later, heavy snowfall, that accompanied the troops. I thought the snow was an incredible addition to the overall experience.

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General George Washington performed by John Godzieba:
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Setting up the cannon to fire:
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Here is a video of the actual blast (with a car alarm going off due to the motion of it!):


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From the streets of Trenton to Mill Hill Park ...

This is a nice shot with the bridge ...
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The closing march ... the snow is an awesome touch!
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Lining up in front of the Old Barracks:
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Here are two videos of the Reenactment ...





After the Reenactment, I went to the Visitor's Center and made my way to the Trent House. I stumbled upon this pleasant flowing stream:
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A video of the river:


Across the street from the Trent House ...

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I finally arrived ...

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Once inside I saw some nice furniture. Here is a shot of a fine case that was holding a candle:
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The url for the Trent House's website is http://www.williamtrenthouse.org

A Second Battle Of Trenton Reenactment was scheduled. I walked to the location where it was to be held and no one was around. I assume it was cancelled due to the heavy snowfall ... a pity because the snow would have offered great authenticity to the scene. I walked back to my car and by the time I arrived, my beard was filled with ice!!! Instead of a Revolutionary War Reenactment, perhaps I should have been to an Empire Strikes Back Hoth Reenactment!

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Here is a video showing my ice-covered beard:


Many more photos of the day can be found at this link: http://s169.photobucket.com/albums/u213/portaltothepast/Reenactments/Revolutionary%20War/Battle%20Of%20Trenton%2012-26-2010

The various programs and activities of Patriots' Week will be held until December 31. More information can be found at http://patriotsweek.com
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