The Gettysburg National Military Park is one of the most visited Civil War battlefields in the United States, for the excellent reason that the battle that was fought for three days in July in and around the formerly sleepy Pennsylvania town may have decided the course of the war. Of course, one of the peak visitation times is the anniversary of the battle, July 1 through 3. According to the Harrisburg 100 blog, there is social media chatter that some Antifa protesters are planning to show up as well.

What does Antifa intend to do?

According to some traffic on social media, Antifa protesters plan to visit the battlefield, burn Confederate Flags and desecrate Confederate graves at the iconic Gettysburg Cemetery.

News of this potential action has park officials and law enforcement on edge, especially as calls for counter protests are now circulating around social media. The potential for disruption and chaos when thousands of visitors are scheduled to arrive is very real.

On the other hand, the whole thing may be another hoax, such as the Facebook post calling for an Antifa protest at the equestrian statue of Sam Houston at Herman Park in Houston. Even though the post turned out to be a ruse, almost a thousand counter-protestors showed up, some of them armed, to defend the monument against a nonexistent Antifa assault.

What about those Confederate monuments at Gettysburg?

Gettysburg is covered with monuments to honor people and units who both wore blue and gray, the idea being that heroism was shown on both sides during those three days and needs to be honored.

Confederate soldiers and Union soldiers were laid to rest in the same cemetery and in the same spirit, as President Abraham Lincoln noted in his famous address.

However, a spokesperson for the park was obliged to point out that no plans exist to alter or remove any of the Confederate statues or memorials, ranging from the huge, equestrian statue of Robert E.

Lee at the jump off point for Pickett’s Charge to the numerous markers honoring individual units.

In the wake of the shooting at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, many communities in the former Confederacy have undertaken to remove monuments dedicated to Confederate heroes and lower the Confederate battle flag from public spaces.

The moves have caused wrenching debates that pit the preservation of history and southern heritage against racial healing. It looks like (at least for the time being) symbols of the Army of Northern Virginia are not going to be expunged from the Gettysburg battlefield.