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Sat, Jun 10


Carlisle, PA 17013, USA


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Time & Location

Jun 10, 2023, 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Carlisle, PA 17013, USA


About the event

This year marks the 160th Anniversary of The Shelling of Carlisle in 1863. One of the most harrowing events in the town’s long and memorable history. To commemorate the event Historic Carlisle Inc. is hosting a one day only reenactment on Saturday June 10th, 2023. The action packed day will begin at 10am on W. High St. in the middle of the beautiful downtown Historic District. Hear the lively airs of Civil War songs just as the soldiers would have heard, played by the Carlisle Brass Band. Kids will have the opportunity to enlist in the PA Militia and be instructed in the drill and tactics of a Civil War soldier. As part of Historic Carlisle’s Civil War Building Plaque program there will be a walking tour with unveilings of new plaques that have been placed on High Street and a short history of each location. Well known and accomplished authors on The Civil War and The Cumberland Valley will be on hand for book signings and presentations. See artifacts that pertain to Carlisle’s rich history on display at the Cumberland County Historical Society and on the street at The National Civil War Museum’s display tent. Military demonstrations will include Artillery, Infantry, Medical, and a 19th Century Saber and Bayonet Drill. At 3pm the Reenactment of The Shelling of Carlisle will commence. Watch first hand as Confederate troops enter the town and demand supplies from the citizens. Union troops recapture the town and are forced to stave off a bombardment from enemy artillery. Feel the cannon’s roar as shells fly overhead and crash into the streets of town. Hear stories as told by the civilians and soldiers who lived through those turbulent days of 1863. At the conclusion of the reenactment, at 5pm, the Sons of Union Veterans will be holding a ceremony at the Civil War Monument on the Square to honor the brave souls from Cumberland County who gave their all for the Union. To wrap up the evening there will be a special showing of the Director’s Cut of the film “Gettysburg” in the historic Carlisle Theatre at 7:30pm. The day long event is free to the public and has something for everyone of all ages.

-Reenactors are encouraged to attend and take part in the days’ activities free of charge. ALL reenactors must pre-register, sign a waiver of liability upon arrival to the event, and will receive a commemorative ribbon to denote their participation in the Reenactment.

Your commemorative ribbon is also a free pass to see the movie “Gettysburg-

Contact Chris Jones for event and/or reenactor registration information:

The Shelling of Carlisle

Schedule of Events*

June 10, 2023

10:00 - Opening Ceremony and Welcome (stage) - Courtney Cauthon, President of Historic Carlisle

11:00 - Carlisle Town Brass Band - Civil War Music (stage)

11:00 - Kids’ Enlistment and Drill - Join the Union’s Pennsylvania Emergency Militia that was called up to defend the state from the invading Confederates. Kids will be “issued” a toy musket to use during drill and will learn how to be a Union Soldier (meet on street at Veteran’s Courtyard)

12:00 - 1:00 Historic Carlisle’s Civil War Building Plaque Walking Tour - visit three of Carlisle’s beautiful historic structures that stood at the the time of The Shelling and hear about their history -Grand Illusion/ Old Courthouse/ Create-A-Palooza- (meet at stage)

1:30 - “Rediscovering Polly McGinnis” / Shedding Light on a Forgotten Carlisle Heroine - Special Guest Speaker - Ann McMillin, PA Department President of the Auxiliary to the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War (stage)

3:00-5:00 The Shelling of Carlisle Reenactment (town square) 5:15 - Rededication of the Cumberland County Civil War Monument - Sons of Union

Veterans (Veteran’s Courtyard)

7:00 - W High St reopens for traffic - all spectators, vendors, and demonstrators must be clear of roadway

7:30 - “Gettysburg” the movie - special director’s cut showing at The Carlisle Theatre (High St)

All Day Activities- (on W High St unless otherwise noted)

Benchfield Farms Wagon Rides (10am-2pm - rides start at alley side of Old Courthouse) Infantry, Artillery, and Medical Demonstrations Noted Historians/ Published Authors - Cooper Wingert - Jim Schmick - Scott Mingus Saber Fencing Demonstration (12:00 and 2:00 - First Presbyterian Courtyard)

Kids Games from the Civil War Era Victorian Era Mourning Rituals with Horse Drawn Hearse and Ice Casket Display

*times are subject to change


  • Reenactor Pass

    Pre-registration is required for this event. You must check in and receive your commemorative ribbon to participate. Your ribbon will act as your participant pass for the day's event and also grant you free admission to the Director's Cut showing of the movie, Gettysburg. This is a free event.

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