Gettysburg

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It used to be a common requirement for students to memorize Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. If you’re not familiar with it, try this link. http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/gtsburgaddress.htm

The Battle of Gettysburg is generally accepted as the turning point in America’s Civil War. The Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia crossed into the Northern states of Maryland and Pennsylvania, with the first engagement on 1 July 1863. On 4 July, General Lee called for the Confederate Army to retreat. Over 50 thousand soldiers – representing both sides – were killed, wounded or missing. It took nearly two weeks to bury the dead. The priority was to bury the Northern dead, so many Confederate soldiers were unable to be moved due to the summer heat and decomposition, so they were buried where they fell. The Union soldiers did not fare much better, originally being buried in shallow graves. A proper cemetery was deemed appropriate.

The National Cemetery was dedicated on 19 November 1863. President Abraham Lincoln’s speech followed a rousing two hour oration by Edward Everett. Lincoln’s speech was barely two minutes.

Few today know who Everett was much less what he said.

Lincoln’s few words are remembered and revered.

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