Q. What is The Gettysburg Discussion Group?

 A .The Gettysburg Discussion Group is made up of members who wish to engage in cordial, academic discussion of the Battle of Gettysburg. It was founded by Brothers Bob and Dennis Lawrence who moderate the group.

 The purpose of the site is to establish a research base for all who wish to study the Battle of Gettysburg. To that end we are actively seeking articles, manuscripts and photos that relate to that battle.

 Q. Why doesn't this FAQ have frequently asked questions about the Battle of Gettysburg?

 A. Because you can access sample  discussions and numerous articles about the battle on the web page.

 Q. So what's the purpose of this FAQ?

 A. To go over frequently asked questions about how to participate in the group.

 Q. Isn't it like posting to a newsgroup?

 A. No. Although the group is not moderated per se ( posts go out without any review) The Lawrence Brothers (Dennis & Bob AKA the "moderators") review all posts and do insist that members follow the rules.

 Q. So what are the rules?

 A. Really only two

Q. Can you give me some examples?

 A. Sure - if Brother Dennis posts something wrong about Robert E. Lee's actions at the battle, it is okay for Brother Bob or - anyone else for that matter - to point out his error. It is not OK to call him names or question his motives for making the post.

Similarly if you don't like Robert E. Lee, it's fine to point out his shortcomings; HOWEVER, it's not fine to engage in character assassination.

 The same goes for authors and historians. If you have problems with their work, tell us why, but don't attack the author.

 Q. Why are you so touchy about attacking authors and historians and park officials?

 A. The main reason is that common courtesy extends to all academic discussions. The other reason is because we have a lot of them as members.

 Q. Why would anyone get upset when I correct a mistake in their post?

 A. It is not the content of the posts but the tone of the posts that causes problems. If you can't reply to a perceived mistake without offending the other party, don't post in this group.

 Q. Some of the spelling is pretty bad in these posts - especially in Dennis and Bob's. Shouldn't we point that out to everyone?

 A. Besides being moderators of this group, Dennis and Bob are also presidents of the "Alternative Spellers Association" (a subsidiary of the "Hunt and Peck" consortium). The basic tenet of this group is the right of anyone to spell a word anyway he/she likes.
Sew plese du nt corekt anyunes speling in this grupe.

 Q. So I can post anything I want as long as its cordial and about Gettysburg?

 A. Yes, but be forewarned. This is a very knowledgeable group. If you post, it is best you give facts, figures and above all SOURCES for your opinions. You should also try and keep your posts to reasonable number - we have over 700 members and things can get quite crowded.

That is not to say you can't discuss your views on any area you want. However if you think, for instance, that Longstreet was ordered to attack at dawn on July 2, you had better be in possession of previously unpublished copies of these orders. If not you should run for cover!

 Q. I posted a tongue in cheek post but now it appears everyone is mad at me. Is it because I was off topic.?

 A. If the Brothers Lawrence are mad at you, it could be because you are off topic. However it could also be because, being you are communicating using the written word, no one could see your tongue was planted in your cheek. Keep in mind how much facial expressions and tone of voice convey in a face to face conversation and then remember you are not talking face to face. Posts you think are funny, or witty or tongue in cheek may appear arrogant, rude or belligerent to those who read them.

Q. Well, what if I see something that I think is off topic, arrogant, rude or belligerent?

 A. Send a note to either Bob(   or Dennis (

 Usually you'll find out we have already taken care of the problem. Just make sure you don't point out the offenders shortcomings with a public post - the moderators have no tolerance for flame wars.

Q. How do I subscribe or unsubscribe?

 A:  It's easy if you follow these rules:

The Gettysburg Discussion Group is in the form of a email list service.  You
can subscribe to the list in one of two ways:

1.  In order to receive the list in real time (as the messages are received
by the list server, they are sent to you immediately)

    Send an email to with the text (excluding quotes)
"subscribe gettysburg" in the body of the message.

    To remove yourself from this list, email with the text
"unsubscribe gettysburg" in the body of the message.

2.  To receive a periodic digest of posts (at least once per day) rather
than the individual e-mails

    Send an email to with the text (excluding quotes)
"subscribe gettysburg-digest" in the body of the message

    To remove yourself from this list, email with the text
"unsubscribe gettysburg-digest" in the body of the message.

The address to participate in the group discussions is

 Q. How do I reply to a post I see in the digest?

 A. Do NOT use reply when answering a post in the digest. This sends the whole digest back out to everybody - clogging their mailers and causing them to growl at Dennis and Bob. Clip the post you want to reply to and paste it in a new message with your answer.

 Q. Should I use the "attach" feature on my mailer to send documents to the group?

 A. Definitely not. The digest presents the attachment undecoded - in gibberish.

Q, What is this muster I keep reading about?

 A. About 200 GDG members meet in Gettysburg every June for the purpose of getting together and seeing each others facial expressions and hear each others tones of voice as we talk. You can get more info on the muster at our member page.

 Q. Are there any dues for belonging to this group?

    A.  The GDG is a non-profit organization and we do take donations to help defray the expenses of archiving the documents of the field.  Information on how to support this site can be found at membereg.html