The Grand, Great, Golden Reunion, Jubilee, and Commemoration of the Blue and Gray on the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg…And More!

The magnificent event that was held at Gettysburg on the 50th anniversary of the famous battle went by many names, not just the Great Reunion. Consider:

– the official report of the event by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania came from the Pennsylvania Commission, Fiftieth Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg…but the report also scrambled the words a bit and noted (on page 19) “the Commission known as the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg Commission is authorized to…”

– the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) referred to the event in an official communication urging its members to attend as the Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

– Pennsylvania’s official report also mentioned that in the fall of 1910, a Congressional Committee along with representatives from the states and territories proposed that a Peace Jubilee be held from July 1st through the 4th of 1913

– during the event’s official ceremonies some of the speakers referred to that occasion as the Grand Reunion…a term also used by at least one newspaper (the London Times) in an editorial describing what had taken place across the ocean

You’ll also find mentions of that occasion using names such as the Great Peace Reunion, the Golden Jubilee, the Blue and Gray Reunion, or simply the Gettysburg Reunion. (Note, though, that with regards to the latter two terms many other “Blue and Gray” reunions were held in the latter half of the 19th century into the early 20th century, and other “Gettysburg Reunions” were held as well. Still, this particular event from 1913 was so significant at the time and for a number of years afterwards that even without specifically noting “1913” most Americans of the day knew which event one meant.)

My own personal preferences for the name of the event are the Great Reunion – the name I used for the title of my novel – or the Grand Reunion, a phrase I used at various points in the novel alternating with “Great Reunion.”

However, I’ll paraphrase Shakespeare (sort of) with regards to how I feel about the many names and phrases one finds for the gathering at Gettysburg in mid-1913: “The gathering by any other name would still be as monumental.”

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