July 3, 1913 4:30 P.M.
Spectators were treated to a moving sight a short while ago, one that may never be seen again on the face of this earth.
The participants were one hundred and eighty survivors of the Philadelphia Brigade Association (Webb’s Brigade) and one hundred and twenty survivors of Pickett’s Division Association.
The two lines were formed one hundred feet apart, the Philadelphia Brigade on the North and Pickett’s Division on the South side of the Stone Wall, over which they had fought with such desperate valor just fifty years ago to the hour. Standing on the wall between the two lines the Honorable J. Hampton Moore, of Philadelphia, Member of Congress, 3rd Pennsylvania District, presented on behalf of the Philadelphia Brigade Association to the Pickett’s Division Association a beautiful silk flag of the United States.
During the address, the standard bearers of the two flags, first mentioned advanced midways between the two lines, crossing their flag staffs, and at its conclusion the standard bearer of the silken emblem of our United country, unfurling it on the Stone Wall, ran forward and held it above the two battle flags, while Comrade Bentley, in words of eloquence and patriotism, accepted it on behalf of the Pickett’s Division Association, immediately after which the two lines were advanced to the stone fence, and the identical men,—their heads silvered, some with empty sleeves and others on crutches—who half a century before had fought over it with bayonets and butts of muskets, clasped hands and buried their faces on each other’s shoulders, while a mighty shout of praise burst forth from the thousands of interested spectators who had caught the spirit of the occasion.
Between June 29th and July 4th, 2013 our posts will come to us courtesy of the “blogging time machine” we have secretly and mysteriously sent a century into the past to the site of the Great Reunion at Gettysburg.
(Addendum to this post: Many of the words and sentences contained in this report are excerpted verbatim or with slight editing from pages 168-171 of the official Pennsylvania Report on the Great Reunion, and have been selected for use because of their eloquence.)