United States citizens celebrated Independence Day on Thursday (4 July) in a series of observances held all over the world.
MS Camera panning cannon - Northern soldier and American flag
MS Southerners flag and American flag
MS Three children playing by cannon
LS Boy climbing on monument
CU Statue of soldier on monument
MLS Northern soldier with American flag marching toward field
MS Southern flag
MLS Southern soldiers pass camera
LS Soldiers marching out of gun smoke
MCU Southern soldiers marching passed camera
LS Group of southern soldiers marching with southern flag
MLS Northern solders standing behind stone wall
LS Camera pan from northern to southern soldiers
MS Southern officers pointing toward northern line
Camera follows man in straw hat through crowd zoom back showing southern soldiers at attention
MS Boy with northern hat sitting on father's shoulders
LS Girl standing between two southern soldiers
Girl kneeling taking pictures
MS Man dressed as General Lee on horseback
CU Little girl getting drink
MS Man in coon skin cap pan to horn he is carrying
Two boys dressed as southerners
LS Crowd breaking up
MS Man folding up camp chair
CU Empty ice cream up
MS Newspapers stuck in rail fence
CU Newspapers on ground
LS Paper blowing on ground camera zooms back
Battlefield scenes, crowds, northern forces take position, southerners re-enact the charge, the two groups meet, people taking pictures, debris after crowd leaves.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: United States citizens celebrated Independence Day on Thursday (4 July) in a series of observances held all over the world.One of the most ambitious observances took place the day before, when the decisive Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (100 miles north of Washington in the American north), was re-enacted on its one hundredth anniversary.
The Battle lasted for three days (1-3 July, 1863), with the northern forced occupying defensive positions on a fish-hook shaped ridge south of Gettysburg and the southerners mounting constant attacks.On the third day, General Robert E.Lee, commanding the southerners ordered a charge against the central northern position to be carried out by Major General George Pickett's division.The charge was bloodily repulsed, and Lee retreated back into the south.Pickett's charge was the turning point of the battle -- and is considered by some historians to be the turning point of the war.It is the point at which the southern wave broke; the first major victory by the northern forces; and the farthest north that the southern armies penetrated.
The re-enactment took place on the Gettysburg battlefield, which has been preserved as a national monument.Five hundred mock southern soldiers marched across the ground where Pickett charged and met five hundred Yankees drawn up behind small stone wall by three chestnut oaks, the point at which Pickett's charge was aimed.Some was released to give battlefield atmosphere, and battle sounds were played over loudspeakers.When the two groups met, they sang the Star Spangled Banner as a symbol of United States unity.
There were thousands of spectators enjoying the pleasant summer weather.Four were overcome by heat, one 14-year-old boy in southern uniform fell off his horse -- and one youth suffered a broken leg when he fell from a monument.The re-enactment marked the high point of three days of observances at the battlefield site.
The State of Pennsylvania paid $128,000 for the ceremonies Pennsylvania legislators, asked to appropriate the funds, argued that there-enactment was costing more than the original battle.