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The National Civil War Museum Curator Told to Take a Hike

Published: Mar 1, 2011

Two-week march in May will raise funds for Harrisburg museum

Harrisburg, PA - Brett Kelley, curator of collections at The National Civil War Museum, today announced plans to follow up last year’s “In Their Footsteps: Walking the Picket Line” fundraising initiative. On Monday, May 16, Kelley will begin a two-week march as a Confederate soldier. He will commence “In Their Footsteps: On the March to Pennsylvania” at the Kirkland statue in Fredericksburg, VA and end at the Museum in Harrisburg, PA on Monday, May 30.

Kelley will trace the route that General Ewell’s 2nd Corps took into PA after the Battle of Chancellorsville. Ewell took over command of the 2nd Corps after General Jackson was mortally wounded. His corps took the lead of the invasion into PA and almost reached Harrisburg before being recalled by Lee to Gettysburg.

In 2010, during “Walking the Picket Line”, Kelley lived in a winter quarters hut on the grounds of The National Civil War Museum for a two-week period of high winds, freezing temperatures and two snow storms that brought nearly two feet of snow to the Harrisburg area.

This year, Kelley will endure marching an average of 16 miles a day over all terrain, sleeping under the stars, wearing a wool uniform in the heat of late May, while carrying a pack and rifle weighing approximately 60 pounds.  Just like his 2010 initiative, Kelley will not use any 21st century technology and eat only the rations that a Confederate private would have had available during the Civil War.

To represent the Museum’s balanced coverage of the war, Kelley will be in a gray uniform for this year’s initiative and he will be marching to raise money for the Museum’s education department. The march will also serve as a learning experience for not only Kelley, but also for those who will follow his quest. “This experience will add to my appreciation of what these men went through as they risked their lives for their country and cause,” Kelley stated.

Museum staff, volunteers and students from Hershey High School, under the direction of teacher Jeff Mummert, will update Kelley’s movements and experiences through blog postings on (onthemarch.wordpress.com), the NCWM Facebook page, Twitter (@cwsoldier24_7) and YouTube (cwsoldier24_7).

Those who wish to donate to “In Their Footsteps: On the March to Pennsylvania” may do so by visiting www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org, stop by the Museum or call 1.866.BLU.GRAY.

Opened in February 2001, The National Civil War Museum is a non-profit educational institution dedicated solely to the American Civil War.  It is the largest Civil War museum that addresses the war from both the Northern and Southern perspective, and from both a military and civilian perspective. The Museum protects some of the nation's treasures, including General Robert E. Lee's personal Bible, and more than 24,000 artifacts, documents and photos, worth an estimated $20 million. Admission to the Museum is $9.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors, and $7.00 for students with reduced rates for children and families.  The Museum offers complimentary ample parking.

Author: Rick Dunlap

Public Relations Director
Visit Hershey & Harrisburg
3211 North Front Street, Suite 301 A, Harrisburg, PA 17110