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The fields around Gettysburg will come alive with the sounds of battle this weekend and next as ­re-enactors play their Union and Confederate roles. This year, Gettysburg represents the pinnacle for ­thousands of Civil War re-enactors. The monument above is the field where Pickett led his ill-fated charge.

Matt Rourke • Associated Press,

150 years later, Blue and Gray will fight again at Gettysburg

  • Article by: GENARO C. ARMAS
  • Associated Press
  • June 23, 2013 - 11:22 PM

– The commander of the Confederate army marched to the front of the makeshift classroom in jeans and a blue dress shirt to deliver battle plans to his top lieutenants, complete with a PowerPoint presentation and laser pointer.

Gen. Robert E. Lee would have been proud, if not perplexed, to see how Brian Gesuero took charge of the preparations for recreating the Battle of Gettysburg.

This year’s commemoration has even more significance, given that it’s the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and Gettysburg will represent the pinnacle of the re-enactment careers of thousands of Civil War buffs.

“This will be special, different than the other ones. It’s the turning point of the war,” said Gesuero, 44, a firefighter from Maryland.

20,000 re-enactors

A group called the Blue-Gray Alliance expects more than 10,000 re-enactors to take part in its event next weekend. This group also has held large-scale re-enactments planned at Vicksburg, Shiloh, Twin ­Rivers and Wilson’s Mill.

The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee has more than 10,000 participants registered for a second gathering on July 4-7 on fields at the Redding Farm, north of town. It’s the group to which Gesuero, along with Union counterpart Allen Baldwin, methodically presented re-enactment ­preparations.

The Union commander for the Blue-Gray Alliance event, Bob Minton, said his group is proud to have secured the Bushey Farm, the site of the 135th anniversary re-enactment.

That piece of land contains a long sloping ridge that resembles the battleground for Pickett’s Charge, the famous assault on the battle’s final day. “It really gave us an opportunity for a wonderful piece of ground,” said Minton.

Pride is also evident in the voices of members of the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee.

“If we can pull these things off … it’s going to be something to remember,” said Jake Jeanette, a confederate actor.

© 2014 Star Tribune