Immigrants play their role in Gettysburg

Polish Gettysburg re-enactors Poitr Narloch (2nd R) from Krakow, dressed as a Confederate private serving with the 14th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry, (also known as the Polish Brigade), and Cpl. Peter
Polish Gettysburg re-enactors Poitr Narloch (2nd R) from Krakow, dressed as a Confederate private serving with the 14th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry, (also known as the Polish Brigade), and Cpl. Peter

It hardly sounds like a dream honeymoon: a week charging around a battleground reverberating with the clamor of 135 cannons, the reek of gunpowder smoke and the cacophony of 12,000 soldiers and 400 horses.

Yet for Polish newlyweds Madeline and Lukas Kus, the noise and violence are the main attraction. The couple, both 30-year-olds from Warsaw, are among scores of non-Americans – some from as far afield as Australia – who have come to Pennsylvania to take part in two reenactments commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in the first week of July.

The Kuses are two of six Poles here to remember the Polish Brigade, originally formed by Polish-American Walery Sulakowski in August 1861. Almost two years later, the brigade, part of the 14th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, was deployed to Gettysburg to take part in the largest battle of the American Civil War. Casualties (killed, missing in action, wounded or captured) for Union and Confederate troops totaled 50,000.

Madeline Kus, who is portraying a Confederate drummer boy in the June 27-30 reenactment organized by the Blue Gray Alliance, has been taking part in Civil War re-creations for more than two years.

A second reenactment, sponsored by the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee, will take place at a farm near Gettysburg on July 4-7. That version is expected to include about 300 foreign-born reenactors from a range of countries including Canada, Austria, France, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark and Britain.

All the simulated encounters take place on private farmland. “Officers” assign roles in famously well-known and researched engagements within the battle of Gettysburg, like Pickett’s Charge or the battle of Devil’s Den, and participants arrive already knowledgeable and prepared to feign death.

Military historian Professor Peter Stanley of the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society at the University of New South Wales, Canberra, will be among the group in the second event.

“I’ll be wearing the ‘undress’ uniform of a major of the 101st Royal Bengal Fusiliers,” said Stanley, author of 25 books, most of them on military history. That means a dark blue patrol jacket, lavender-blue trousers and a cap.

“I’ll be representing one of the British officers who spent time with both sides observing the war in America. Some British officers came especially; many came down from their stations in Canada. My major is stopping off on the way home from India on leave. I’ll be ‘armed’ with a walking stick, since I’m just observing,” he said.

Stanley said he got hooked on his academic specialty after reading Robert Alter’s “Heroes in Blue and Gray” at the age of 11.

For 72-year-old Frederick “Derek” Philips, of Scotland, who portrays Captain William Wilcox of the 95th New York, the occasion affords the chance to relive history. Philips, a member of the American Civil War Society in the UK, said he participates in about five such events a year in the British Isles.

Philips, a history teacher who has visited Gettysburg several times in the past, said he met members of the Confederation of Union Generals 10 years ago at the commemoration. “I was invited to join as an (aide-de-camp) to Major General John F. Reynolds. Wilcox was with General Reynolds when he was killed at Gettysburg on the first day of the battle.”

Gettysburg officials are expecting 250,000 visitors to visit the small south-central Pennsylvania borough of about 7,700 residents for the anniversary. To accommodate them, officials have hired law enforcement and emergency service personnel to provide security and related services.

As a result of the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year, authorities have put additional security measures in place, banning large backpacks from grandstands and deploying additional police and emergency service personnel.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…