Gen. John B. Gordon's reflection on the Gettysburg Reunion, 1888

John Hartwell

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During the first few days of July, 1888, on the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, was held the first major reunion of survivors. It was sponsored by the Society of the Army of the Potomac, though Confederate veterans were invited to attend also. Some 30,000 survivors gathered for three days of programs and exercises, including a "sham battle," the dedication of many monuments, and Sunday religious services. Congress had authorized the Secretary of War to lend tents and camp equipage, for the use the veterans of "the two armies." The great majority of those attending were from the North, but those southerners who could attend were welcomed, and many were surprised at how warmly. Newspapers of the time were full of accounts and recollections of the battle and of the reunion itself.

The Columbia (GA) Daily Inquirer, 18 July, 1888, contains the following report of the observations of Governor, formerly General John B. Gordon, to the events of those three days:
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