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Department 1

Civil War Institute


These were the words delivered by President Abraham Lincoln at the dedication ceremony of the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19th, 1863. The National Cemetery was made possible by the efforts of local attorneys David Wills and David McConaughy. President Lincoln was invited to give "a few appropriate remarks" at the dedication of the new national cemetery by Wills, and stayed at Wills’ house, located in Union Square at the center of town. At the dedication ceremony, Edward Everett, an acclaimed orator at the time, delivered the main speech of the afternoon. Everett’s account of the battle and eulogy for the Union soldiers killed there lasted over two hours. President Lincoln’s speech followed immediately after Everett’s speech and lasted just over two minutes [excerpt].


This blog post originally appeared in The Gettysburg Compiler and was created by students at Gettysburg College.