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150 years later, Gettysburg reenacted

GETTYSBURG, Pa. — Thousands of Civil War buffs recreated the Confederate Army’s ill-fated Pickett’s Charge on Sunday, in the first of two massive reenactments planned in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s pivotal battle.

Ten days of events have been planned to remember the Battle of Gettysburg, which was waged from July 1 to 3, 1863.

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The National Parks Service held a commemorative ceremony Sunday night, followed by a procession to Soldiers National Cemetery. The graves of the Union dead were adorned with luminarias.

Up to 10,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died at Gettysburg, considered the war’s turning point after federal soldiers rebuffed what had been the northernmost advance of the South.

‘‘This has been unbelievable. The scale of it and the intensity of those men must have gone through,’’ said Union reenactor William Hincks, 40, of East Hampton, Conn. ‘‘It’s intense without flying lead.’’

More than 200,000 visitors were expected to swarm the south-central Pennsylvania town of roughly 7,500 residents over the anniversary period ending July 7.

Another group will hold a second reenactment, described by local organizers as even larger in scale, which is set to begin on Independence Day.

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