Posts Tagged ‘gettysburg’

 

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On this day in the Civil War, 15,000 people gather at Gettysburg for the dedication of the military cemetery. Edward Everett, the main speaker, gives a two hour dissertation about the battle fought here. After this President Lincoln gives a two minute speech that will later be considered one of the greatest speeches in American history. Afterwards Mr. Everett said to Lincoln, “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”

The Harrisburg Patriot and Union newspaper expressed a different view of the speech by stating, “We pass over the silly remarks of the President; for the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall no more be repeated or thought of.”

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“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

 

On this day in the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln is invited to the dedication of a new cemetery at Gettysburg, Pa.

He is asked to make “a few appropriate remarks” , but the main speaker will be orator and statesman Edward Everett.

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Edward EverettĀ 

(Photo Credit: Library of Congress)

This is the house where President Lincoln stayed when he came to dedicate the cemetery in Gettysburg (November, 1863).