Abe Lincoln History


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- Letter to Mrs. Bixby

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- Emancipation Proclamation

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- The Gettysburg Address

Assassination
- 5 Facts
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Family
- Mary Todd Lincoln
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Abe Lincoln Gettysburg Address

Soldiers National Cemetery
Soldiers National Cemetery
The Gettysburg Address
November 19, 1863


The classic speech demonstrating mastery of thought and expression.
 
  • Famous quote "Four score and seven years ago" came from The Gettysburg Address speech
  • Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is regarded as one of the most powerful and poignant speeches in American history.
Today, Lincoln is often remembered for a short speech he gave at Gettysburg on November 1, 1863. It's called the Gettysburg Address. It was only a few minutes long, but is considered one of the great speeches in American history.
Perhaps the most famous battle of the Cival War took place at Gettysburg, PA July 1 to July 3, 1863. At the end of the battle, the Union's Army of the Pootmac had successfully reprelled the second invasion of the North by the Confederacy's Army of Norther Virginia.

Speaking of a "new birth or freedon," he delivered one of the most memorable speeches in U.S. history. Several months later, President Lincoln went to Gettysburg to speak at the dedication of the cemetery for the Union war dead.

From July 1 to July 3, 1863, the invading forces of General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army clashed with the Army of the Potomac (under its newly appointed leader, General George G. Meade) at Gettysburg, some 35 miles southwest of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Casualties were high on both sides: Out of roughly 170,000 Union and Confederate soldiers, there were 23,000 Union casualties (more than one-quarter of the army’s effective forces) and 28,000 Confederates killed, wounded or missing (more than a third of Lee’s army). After three days of battle, Lee retreated towards Virginia on the night of July 4. It was a crushing defeat for the Confederacy, and a month later the great general would offer Confederate President Jefferson Davis his resignation; Davis refused to accept it.

As after previous battles, thousands of Union soldiers killed at Gettysburg were quickly buried, many in poorly marked graves. In the months that followed, however, local attorney David Wills spearheaded efforts to create a national cemetery at Gettysburg. Wills and the Gettysburg Cemetery Commission originally set October 23 as the date for the cemetery’s dedication, but delayed it to mid-November after their choice for speaker, Edward Everett, said he needed more time to prepare. Everett, the former president of Harvard College, former U.S. senator and former secretary of state, was at the time one of the country’s leading orators. On November 2, just weeks before the event, Wills extended an invitation to President Lincoln, asking him “formally [to] set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks.”
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg Address Speech

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon 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 battlefield 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, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler.

Books Related to the Gettysburg Address
  • Boritt, Gabor. The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech That Nobody Knows. Simon & Schuster, 2006.
  • Graham, Kent. November: Lincoln's Elegy at Gettysburg. Indiana University Press, 2001.
  • Hoch, Bradley R. and Boritt, Gabor S. The Lincoln Trail in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001.
  • Johnson, Martin P. Writing the Gettysburg Address. University Press of Kansas, 2013.
  • Kunhardt, Philip B., Jr. A New Birth of Freedom - Lincoln at Gettysburg. Boston: Little, Brown, 1983.
  • Wills, Garry. Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America. Touchstone Books, 1993.
 
 
Abe Lincoln History