On a beautiful April afternoon, CWI’s Peter Carmichael and Jill Ogline Titus led a pre-internship workshop for the 22 students who will intern up and down the East Coast this summer under the auspices of the Brian C. Pohanka Internship Program. Interns joined Carmichael and Titus along Seminary Ridge near the Virginia Monument for a “sample” interpretive program on Pickett’s Charge and an informal conversation about interpretive techniques. The workshop wrapped up with dinner in Specialty Dining, where the veteran Pohanka interns in the group shared their experiences and advice with the first-timers. In just a few short weeks, these students will be giving their own programs in interpretive settings ranging from Georgia to Massachusetts. Follow their summer adventures on CWI’s blog, The Gettysburg Compiler!
ON THE FRONT LINES OF HISTORY
In April 2015, thanks to the efforts of Jesse Campana ’18, students in CWI Assistant Director Ian Isherwood’s class on the Great War had a unique opportunity to visit an authentic replica of a World War I trench line located near Newville, PA. The Caesar Krauss Great War Memorial Site is owned and maintained by the Great War Association (GWA), which strives to honor those who fought in the conflict through battle reenactments and educational events. On a 100 acre site in the woods of south-central Pennsylvania, the organization has authentically recreated a portion of the Western Front as it may have appeared circa 1917-18. The GWA places intense emphasis on historical accuracy and participatory history. The group’s reenactments take place within systems of opposing trenches complete with a crater-pocked No-Man's Land; participants remain in character 24/7 and spectators are not permitted. The memorial site provides a remarkable window into the material culture of trench life, including belts of barbed wire, used to protect the sandbagged front line trenches, bunkers with functioning machine guns, and supporting and communication trenches, connected to underground dugouts where officers plan operations and the common soldiers eat and rest. Campana, a GWA member and student in History 219, gave his classmates a tour of the trenches and an introduction to the material culture of war. Photo and title credit Kevin Lavery ’16.