Communications during the Great Reunion

Take your mind back in time 100 years. Whereas today almost so many of us are connected to one another via mobile phones (voice and texting alike) and the Internet (social media, etc.), a century ago telephones were certainly in use but not necessarily commonplace and certainly not mobile. Still, despite the setting of more than 50,000 old veterans living in tents in a large open space outside of Gettysburg, these gentlemen were hardly out of touch…nor were those who were responsible for the management of the Great Reunion.

The United States Army Signal Corps installed 87 telephones and between the Bell Telephone System and “independent phone companies” 35 pay phones were put in place. Western Union put in a telegraph facility and the United States Postal Service installed a temporary post office within the facilities.

So while the veterans weren’t exactly texting each other throughout the Great Reunion (“Where r u? Meet at Great Tent”) or calling back home three or four times per day to ease the minds of relatives anxious about the comfort and safety of the old men, they weren’t totally out of touch, considering the era.

But can’t you imagine if today’s technology were available back then, the hundreds of blog posts and hundreds of thousands of Facebook status updates and tweets?

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