Grand Rapids musicians to mark Battle of Gettysburg

July 5, 2013 by  

Hot on the heels of the city’s excellent Fourth of July celebrations, the folks of Grand Rapids have another momentous event to look forward to honoring. This weekend sees The Battle of Gettysburg marking its 150th anniversary.

Particularly poignant of course, is that it was the scene of much bravery from the men who volunteered for the Minnesota First Volunteer Regiment. Commemorating the great sacrifices made, local musicians will play a free concert at the Reif Center in the city.

Locals may not know that, despite it still being a very young state, Minnesota was the first to respond to President Lincoln’s call to arms. The actions of the MN Firsts contributed significantly to the widely accepted greatest turning point in the war.

From an initial 1,000 men, only 47 were present at the final role call after the battle. The spirit of the men, to constantly face up to the fight despite adversity, earned the gratitude of the nation, as President Coolidge later stated:

“Colonel Colvill and those eight companies of the First Minnesota are entitled to rank as the saviors of their country.”

Having covered the area with flyer printing and poster printing in the run up to the concert, organizers are hopeful of a good attendance.

Including a number of songs from the era of the battle, and a recital of the iconic ‘Gettysburg Address’, it promises to be an emotional afternoon.

The event gets under way at 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 6.