Union and Confederate Soldiers Shake Hands.
I guess it’s better late than never. These gentlemen were soldiers who fought on opposite sides of the American Civil War. Fifty two years after the first shots were fired a Fort Sumter and tore the country part, this reunion took place in order to bring the two fractured halves back together in celebration.
The official reason that this reunion event occurred was to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Some of the last remaining veterans of the conflict showed up to acknowledge their peace with one another. As a sign of respect, the event also had men from each army line up separately then shake hands with their opponents.
There were many different reunion events like this that happened all across the country at sights where some of the most important battles and treaties took place. An event that was specifically meant to act as a reunion of the Civil War’s many iconic Generals was even arranged. Gettysburg still hosts these anniversary events annually, but with the death of the last Civil War Veteran in 1956, they have acted more as memorials for all the fallen soldiers.
While the identities of the two men shown in the picture aren’t expressly known, the sentiment is certainly present. With the intense pressure the conflict placed on our still young nation at the time, it certainly is nice to see that at the end of the day both sides were willing to let bygones be bygones and give peace a chance.