About 35,000 people gathered on Pennsylvania farmland to witness what was billed as the largest Civil War re-enactment ever.

Spectators cheered wildly Sunday as soldiers in blue and gray galloped by, touching the tips of their sabers to their noses and giving polite nods to women. A cannon pounded so loudly that it set off car alarms."I have never seen anything like this. Yesterday was hot, but I had goose bumps to the tips of my toes," said spectator Richard Joblom of Freehold, N.J. "This is like the man landing on the moon. It's a once-in-a-lifetime event."

The three-day re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg involved about 15,000 performers, who met on a 300-acre farm about two miles from the actual battlefield.

On July 3, 1863, the last day of the three-day battle, Confederate commander Robert E. Lee ordered Lt. Gen. James L. Longstreet to send Gen. George Pickett's Virginians into the center of the union line, hoping to break it in two.

Pickett's charge, which he commanded from a safe distance, was doomed. The federal line mowed down 12,000 of Pickett's troops.