Gettysburg Address

November 16, 2021
Gettysburg Address

November 19, 1863

President Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.
But the famous speech would not have happened without this one man whose name is not as well known.
"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 …"

Gettysburg Attorney David Wills, who wrote a letter to President Abraham Lincoln on November 2, 1863, inviting him to speak at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery on November 19.

David Wills

  • 32 years old when the Civil War battle raged between Union and Confederate soldiers.

  • Helped provide care for those injured, clear the battlefield of the dead, and communicate with families looking for missing relatives.

  • One of the main forces behind purchasing 17 acres for a cemetery to honor the fallen.

The Battle of Gettysburg

  • Brutal battle: July 1-3, 1863

  • 150,000+ Americans fought; 1 in 3 killed, wounded or missing.

  • Union soldiers pushed back Confederates – the victory arguably a tipping point in the war.

  • It took nearly another 2 years of fighting before the South officially surrendered.

David Wills' home is still standing in Gettysburg, PA. You can visit the room where President Lincoln slept the night before he delivered the Gettysburg Address. Re-read the whole speech on our source page.

David Wills to Abraham Lincoln, Monday, November 02, 1863

Today in History – November 19

Wills House

David Wills House

The Gettysburg Address

"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."

Click HERE to watch Jenna's interview: The Fight That Changed America: The Battle of Gettysburg The single most costly battle of the American Civil War happened in the early days of July 1863, falling on the same days the Founding Fathers finalized the Declaration of Independence less than 90 years earlier. Ret. Marine Col Rob Abbott, one of the few Licensed Battlefield Guides of Gettysburg National Military Park, takes us through the days before, during, and after the Battle of Gettysburg.

by Jenna Lee,

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