Tuesday, November 19, 2013

American Guide Series: Lincoln Speech Memorial - Gettysburg, PA

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Lincoln Speech Memorial
Gettysburg, PA
Topic: American Guide Series

GPS: N39° 49.053; W077° 13.911

Quick Description: 

The memorial to the Gettysburg Address is located in Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA.

Long Description:

American Guide Series: Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State, 1940; page 232

"I. The SOLDIER'S NATIONAL CEMETERY, Baltimore Road to Taneyton Road, at the southern boundary of Gettysburg, embraces 17 acres and contains graves of 3,604 soldiers, 979 of them unidentified. The cemetery was established through the efforts of Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin, of Pennsylvania, and David Wills, of Gettysburg. Curtin, visiting the battlefield shortly after the troops departed, was shocked to find that shallow, scattered graves revealed portions of uniformed corpses above ground. He took measures to collect the bodies and inter them decently. In the cemetery stands the 60-foot marble SOLDIERS' NATIONAL MONUMENT, designed by J.G. Batterson and executed in Italy under the supervision of Randolph Rogers. It occupies the site where Lincoln gave his address. Near by is the LINCOLN SPEECH MEMORIAL, a semicircular monument with a bust of the Great Emancipator." --- Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State, 1940; page 232"

The Lincoln Speech Memorial is about 300 yards north of the actual site where this famous speech was delivered. The actual site is marked with the Soldiers' National Monument (q.v.) above. The Speech Memorial is dedicated to the address that Lincoln gave at the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery on November 19, 1863 in Gettysburg, PA. The memorial was dedicated in January 1912. It is unusual it that it is actually dedicated to a speech. The a bust of President Lincoln was sculpted by Henry K. Bush-Brown.

This version of the speech is reproduced on the monument:

"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.

It's the only version which has Lincoln's signature.

The other tablet reads:

"The several states having soldiers in the Army of the Potomac who were killed at the Battle of Gettysburg or have since died at the various hospitals which were established in the vicinity have procured grounds on a prominent part of the battlefield for a cemetery and are having the dead removed to them and properly buried.

These grounds will be consecrated and set apart to this sacred purpose on Thursday the 19th instant. It is the desire that you as Chief Executive of the nation formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks. It will be a source of great gratification to the many widows and orphans that have been made almost friendless by the great battle here to have you here personally and it will kindle anew in the breasts of the comrades of these brave dead who are now in the tented field that they who sleep in death on the battlefield are not forgotten by those highest in authority and they will feel that should their fate be the same their remains will not be uncared for.

From letter of invitation to President Lincoln inviting him to give a speech at the dedication of the cemetery.

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