Gettysburg, now with a population of about 7,800, and surrounding Adams County anticipate a $100 million economic impact from 150th anniversary observances.
Whitehill has spent much of his time assisting nearly 700 journalists from across the United States and abroad. Among international media are German, UK, Australian and Swiss companies.
"One of the things that amazes international visitors and media is why we re-enact this war. It is such a pivotal and painful time for this country but every year we bring it to life and re-enact it."
The area's 2,600 rooms and 1,800 campsites are largely filled, although a few are left.
"A lot of people move to this area for the history," said Whitehill. "A lot of people just love being close to it."
First aid tents all over town will assist any visitors and event participants who run into problems from the muggy and warm temperatures.
Visitors can take free shuttles into downtown and re-enactments. The National Park Service also offers shuttles and satellite parking.
Traffic flow on Friday, the first full day of 150th events, went well.
Thousands of re-enactors go back in time
Don Ernsberger led the building of a replica Pickett's Charge stone wall for this weekend's re-enactment at Bushey Farm.
Seventy volunteeers shaped 88 tons of stone to re-create the focal point of the march.
"The Confederates captured that angle for about five to eight minutes and the Union reinforcements came in and pushed them out."
Ernsberger, who authored a book about the wall and the attack, will portray a Union lieutenant on Sunday.
"I wrote this book three years ago and I hope to see it happen before my eyes," he said.
An estimatetd 10,000 re-enactors are on hand at Bushey Farm this weekend, said Kris Shelton, media and marketing coordinator for the Blue Gray Alliance, which is sponsoring the event.
The first mock battle went well Friday, said Shelton, who said organizers have detailed logistics plans for the maneuvering of troops at the site.
There's a chance of rain for the next several days.
"We are historically accurate, but we don't control the weather," Shelton said.
Organizers expect tens of thousands of spectators on Saturday and Sunday.
Besides portrayals of the fighting, the re-enactment will include about 200 individuals representing the town of Gettysburg in 1863.