Family reliving Civil War history
In the muggy, fog-laden heat of a late June morning, Michael Nissen and his dad, Marty, made their way across an expansive battlefield that looked straight out of an American history textbook.
They were dressed in blue wool jackets, suspenders and thick black shoes. They shouldered heavy muskets and kept spare ammunition in belts around their waists. Their eyes were alert for the movement of artillery and their ears open for orders from their commanding officers.
"You know it isn't real, but it has that 'this is real' feeling to it," Michael said. "You get nervous. It's like you're exactly in the soldiers' shoes."
The Nissen family of Hastings were among more than 13,000 re-enactors who participated in a re-created Battle of Gettysburg just outside the iconic Pennsylvania town at the end of June.
The Nissens are becoming increasingly involved in the re-enactment hobby, which has attracted particular attention in 2011, 2012 and 2013, which mark the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. The series of battles in Gettysburg, Penn., were originally fought July 1-3, 1863.