All of the Romance. Little of the Reality.
Even non-history buffs are likely to encounter the Gettysburg Battle lollapalooza over the next few days(*) as the nation "celebrates" three days of carnage in 1863. No doubt this year's event will be less violent but it's far too much of a pageant for my taste.
Which re-enactors do you think will play the part of the Confederates who kidnapped free blacks in Pennsylvania and took them into slavery after retreating from Gettysburg?
Hat tip for this little known bit of Confederate gallantry: The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Laveen. Secrets may be historical fiction but the the history is true.
(*)Update: Now that I look at the reenactment site, I see that the event won't even take place on the actual dates--July 1-3--of the battle. The reenactment will be July 4-7, no doubt a more convenient time for spectators, participants and maximum media exposure but another step away from reality. Hell, by July 4, 1863 the Confederates were heading south.