Week 13 American Studies 12 May 2014. Gettysburg.
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As the summer of 1863 began, neither the North nor South had been able to gain the upper hand. The strategic Southern city of Vicksburg was under siege by U.S. Grant. The South was unable to break through for a direct attack on Washington, D.C. As the war dragged on it was becoming clear that the North had much greater resources and would be able to outlast the South.
The South had to come up with a “game-changer.”
Vicksburg, Miss., after 6 weeks under siege.
Led by Gen. Robert E. Lee, the South invaded the North, forcing the Union army to spread itself out. The Rebel army lived “off the land”, stealing food and livestock from farmers and promising to repay them with Confederate money when the war was over. Any free black people they found were rounded up and herded south to be sold into slavery.
The Confederate soldiers were badly in need of shoes, and they learned there was a large supply of them stored at the Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. It was there that they ran into the Union Army and fought the bloodiest battle ever in North America.
Notice how the Union Army forms a moving barrier to Washington, D.C.
Gettysburg, July 1, 1863 Washington, D.C.
Gettysburg today. three days.
Lincoln was one of many speakers at the ceremony to turn part of the battlefield into a national cemetery. The brief speech he gave has become known as The Gettysburg Address.
The Gettysburg Address part of the battlefield into a national cemetery. The brief speech he gave has become known as The Gettysburg Address.
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