Re-enactors headed to Gettysburg for battle's 150th anniversary
When David Delisi takes to the battlefield in Gettysburg over the long July 4th weekend, he won't be thinking of his accounting firm, Delisi, Keenan & Associates, missed cellphone messages or upcoming appointments.
Delisi, along with his son and daughter, are living historians — part of a group of Civil War re-enactors of the 11th PA Volunteer Infantry Co. F who will travel to Gettysburg to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle there between Union and Confederate forces in July 1863.
“I'm a CPA, but I don't think about it when I'm there,” said Delisi, a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“I was in ROTC at IUP and I enjoyed going out in the field,” said Delisi, a member of Westmoreland County Historical Society. “It's like when I was a kid, I played Army. This is like Army for adults.”
The 11th PA Volunteer Infantry Co F fought in several major battles, including Gettysburg, Antietam in September 1862, Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864 in northern Virginia, the Siege of Petersburg in 1864-65 and at the Battle Appomattox Court House, where Confederate States General Robert E. Lee surrendered in April 1865.
Reports state the battle began as the Confederate forces under Lee invaded Pennsylvania during the war's third year. Lee's Army from Northern Virginia was beaten back by the Union's Army of the Potomac, led by Gen. George Meade from Pennsylvania. Meade's troops beat back Pickett's Charge, an assault ordered by Lee, on Cemetery Ridge on July 3, 1863, the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg. (The attack was named for Maj. Gen. George Pickett, one of three Confederate generals who led the assault under the charge commander, Lt. Gen. James Longstreet.)
Delisi, through the Greensburg Rotary Club, will be bringing two students from Greensburg, Kansas, the site of a devastating tornado in 2007, along with him to Gettysburg as part of a Rotary exchange program. The Kansas students are visitng from June 26 until July 17, according to the Rotary's website.
Keith MacGregor, part of 142nd PA Volunteer Infantry Co. F, has worked many events with Delisi over the years.
“I've known Dave a long time,” said MacGregor, director of loss prevention for New Penn Motor Express in Lebanon. “He is a great living historian and contributor to the group.”
For MacGregor, the opportunity to commemorate what actually occurred in Gettysburg 150 years ago by portraying a unit that was actually there is an unforgettable experience.
For both Delisi and MacGregor, interacting with other re-enactors who share the same appreciation for history is an advantage.
“When it's just us living historians around the campfire ... away from TV and cell phones ... you do a little time travel and get to experience these great historic events, ” MacGregor said.
Michele Stewardson is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.