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Profs and Pints presents: “Caught Up in Gettysburg,” a look at the civilians near the historic battle’s front lines, with Theodore Hirt, professorial lecturer at George Washington University’s law school and licensed Gettysburg town guide.
Much attention has been focused on the military aspects of the Battle of Gettysburg, widely regarded as a turning point of the Civil War. But Union and Confederate soldiers were hardly the only ones whose fates hung in the balance during those harrowing days in July 1863.
Many residents of this Pennsylvania crossroads town endured the battle and its after-effects. Some hid in their cellars to avoid snipers and cannon fire. Others tended to the wounded in churches and their homes. A few attempted childish pranks and paid the price with their lives. The town gained more renown when Lincoln dedicated its National Cemetery in November 1863, with the Gettysburg Address having a distinct meaning to those who literally resided at a Gettysburg address. Come hear their stories and learn what it was like to have one of the nation’s bloodiest conflicts fought just outside your door.
Hirt, a member of the Gettysburg Licensed Town Historians and Guides, also will tackle a host of common questions related to the battle. Was Union victory inevitable? Could the Confederacy have prevailed if its generals had been more decisive? It is true that Lincoln “jotted down” notes for the Address on scrap paper during his train ride from Washington, and that he and the media regarded the Address as a failure? (Advance tickets: $12. Door: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself plenty of time to place any orders and get settled into place.)