Gettysburg National Cemetery

A Day in the Life of …

… Of a Visitor to the Gettysburg National Cemetery

Very Close to the Gettysburg National Military Park’s Visitor Center is the Gettysburg Cemetery.  This is the final resting point for 3500 union soldiers killed in the battle of Gettysburg.

There are monuments throughout the cemetery and the battlefield dedicated to both the union and the Confederate soldiers.  Pictured below are a few of the monuments located in the cemetery.  There are many, many more to see.

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Markers for the Tombs of the Unknown Soldiers

Other markers are the plain white tombstones.

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This plaque was placed near the grave markers

Monuments from different states are placed throughout the cemetery.  This one is dedicated to the troops from the State of Ohio

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A Buckeye tree, the state tree of Ohio, is placed next to this monument.

There are many monuments throughout the cemetery honoring those who gave so much during this civil war.  This site has more information on the numerous monuments throughout the Gettysburg National Cemetery and Battlefield  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_monuments_of_the_Gettysburg_Battlefield

Soldiers National Monument in the National Cemetery at Gettysburg

The Soldier’s Monument  – This marks the spot where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address

Marble statues around the base of the monument represent History, War, Peace and Plenty. The figure of the Genius of Liberty tops the monument, holding a sword in one hand and the wreath of peace in the other and representing the constant struggle for freedom.

The monument below, commemorating the Gettysburg address, is placed on Cemetery Drive located on the battlefield grounds.  The monument above marks the actual spot where the speech was given.

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From the tablet in front of the monument:
This monument commemorates
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address,
November 19, 1863.

The Address was delivered
about 300 yards from this spot
along upper Cemetery drive.
The site is now marked by the
Soldiers’ National Monument.

Dedicated Jan. 24, 1912 –
Sculptor, Henry Bush-Brown. 

Two speeches were given November 19,1863, 4 months after the battle at Gettysburg, but only one is remembered. Both were given at the Gettysburg National Cemetery. The first one was delivered by Edward Everett, the former Secretary of State and lasted over 2 hours.  This speech was followed by the 2-minute speech Abraham Lincoln delivered.  The photographer there that day took pictures of Edward Everett but none of Abraham Lincoln. Since Everett’s speech lasted 2 hours, the photographer thought he had plenty of time to get set up for Mr. Lincoln’s speech. Unfortunately, he did not. He did not get set up before the speech was ended and no pictures were made.

Below is the Gettysburg Address in its entirety.

“Fourscore 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 cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot 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 here 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.”

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More about Gettysburg in the next post.

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