From July 1 to 3, 1863, 160,000 men from the Union and Confederate armies met at Gettysburg in southern Pennsylvania. It would prove to be the turning point of the war, but with more than 50,000 casualties from both sides it was among the most costly of battles. President Lincoln’s speech, delivered four months later, lasted only two minutes. But it said as much or more about the Civil War than any book written since.
November 19, 1863
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. (more…)
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Daily Scholar Essay
What Is the “New Birth of Freedom”?
Lincoln came to the Gettysburg field of the dead and spoke of “a new birth of freedom.” What did he mean by it?
A lot of men killed a lot of other men at Gettysburg during those three days in July of 1863. But that happened more than once in the Civil War: at Antietam, in the Wilderness, at Cold Harbor, and many other places. People remember those places and those battles, too, but not the way they remember Gettysburg.
Maybe because this was the battle? The one in which the Confederate States of America lost not just a battle but began to lose the war? But why did they lose this battle and that war? (more…)
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