Brett Kelley will bivouac Feb. 6-20 on the grounds of the Harrisburg museum, living in a tent, eating the rations of the era and wearing the uniform of a Union private awaiting the spring fighting season.
Despite the faded notion that the South will rise again, Kelley won't be defending the Keystone State against a repeat of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's march to Gettysburg. It is actually a fundraiser and educational event to give 21st century Americans a glimpse of what their forefathers went through during the war.
"Student groups visiting during this time will most certainly gain a new appreciation for the elements the soldiers endured and the sacrifices they made for this country," Mary Smith, president of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, said in a written statement Tuesday.
The museum said Kelley will perform typical chores assigned to picket-line soldiers back in the day, including building a split-rail fence, standing sentry duty and taking an occasional 10-mile march.
Kelley, the museum's curator of collections, won't be "in character" during his stint. People will be able to talk to him without fear of being prodded with a bayonet. Kelley will also presumably have the chance to check his e-mails as time permits.