On November 19, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history, the Gettysburg Address. He spoke at a battlefield in Pennsylvania where over 45,000 soldiers from both northern and southern states had been wounded, killed, or captured four months earlier in the Battle of Gettysburg, just one of the many battles of the American Civil War. On this date in history, the battleground was to be turned into a cemetery to honor those lost.
The Civil War lasted from 1861-1865. Slavery and the rights of states were the root reasons for the war. It was fought between the northern United States, or the Union, and the southern United States, or the Confederacy. The Union wanted to end slavery while the Confederacy did not. The South decided to split from the North so this divide along with the disagreements over slavery, and other factors led to the war.
Here are some interesting facts you might not know about the Gettysburg Address:
· The President was invited to the ceremony at the last minute. It was expected that he would be too busy to come; therefore it was a surprise when he not only attended but delivered a speech too.
· The address was just nine sentences and 272 words long and was delivered in less than three minutes.
· Lincoln’s son Tad became sick right before he was due to leave for Gettysburg. Lincoln had already lost two of his four children to disease at this point so it worried him to leave. His wife Mary pleaded with him not to go but he felt it was his duty and traveled to Pennsylvania anyway.
Check out these websites for more information about the Gettysburg Address and other people, places, and events of the Civil War.