(AP) The 150th anniversary of the decisive Civil War battle in Gettysburg is nine months away, but national park officials in Pennsylvania, tourism planners and hotels are bracing for what is expected to be a huge turnout.
Gettysburg tourism office spokesman Carl Whitehill said Thursday many hotels in the immediate area have sold out, and they are expecting some 4 million visitors over the course of the year, or about a third more than usual.
Typically, the battle's anniversary draws some 5,000 re-enactors. But the figure next July 1-3 could be three times higher.
Fought in early July 1863, Gettysburg is considered the turning point of the Civil War, as the Northern army was able to repel Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army.