In July 1863, Hettie Shriver was 24 years old with two young daughters when more than 170,000 soldiers descended upon her hometown to engage in one of the bloodiest battles to take place on American soil.
On Saturday, July 4, from 5 to 9 p.m., the Shriver House Museum will re-enact the occupation of the Shrivers’ home and the aftermath of the conflict. Confederate sharpshooters took over Hettie Shrivers’ home, many of her household furnishings were used to build a barricade in the street, and wounded soldiers were tended to in the house. Learn what happened during those three days of horror that terrified the citizens of Gettysburg and how the Shrivers’ home was used during and after the fighting.
Visitors can step back in time to understand how the Civil War affected one family who called Gettysburg ‘home’ in 1863. Engage with Confederate soldiers as they prepare for battle; watch snipers fire at Union forces from the sharpshooters’ nest in the garret and, in some cases, take their last breath; see rooms plundered by the invading forces; talk to wounded soldiers waiting for a doctor to treat their wounds in the makeshift hospital in the summer kitchen. Cold root beer will be served to visitors in Shriver’s Saloon while younger visitors have a nurse bandage their wounds (a small spurt of blood on the bandage helps make the injury look more realistic) or make whirligigs to take along as a memento of their visit. This Civil War re-enactment takes place in a house where it truly happened in July 1863.
The Shrivers’ home has been painstakingly restored to its 1860s appearance and is open to the public as a heritage museum. Tours offers a special insight into the lives of the people of Gettysburg and how the Civil War, and in particular the Battle of Gettysburg, affected them. The story is told through the eyes of the Shriver family and offers a glimpse into the lifestyles, customs, and furnishings of the mid-19th century.
For additional information on the Shriver House Museum, 309 Baltimore St., Gettysburg, Pa., call (717) 337-2800 or visit www.shriverhouse.org.