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Abstract

Schmucker Hall offers an unprecedented opportunity to interpret the role of religion in the Civil War and the American expenment in democracy. In particular it can give palpable expression to major themes in Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address concerning the battle itself, the conflict as a time of testing, the sacrifices of those who fought here, and the hope these sacrifices bring to the young nation for a new birth of freedom.

Built in 1832 and named for an abolitionist and founder of Gettysburg Seminary, Samuel Simon Schmucker, it is the original structure on the oldest continuously-operating Lutheran seminary in the United States, and many say it IS the most significant Civil War building in America still in private hands. Thus, Gettysburg Seminary has a place and it has a man to interpret significant aspects of the Civil War in ways that no other museum, including a government agency such as the National Park Service (NPS), can do. [excerpt]

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