President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is being commemorated with “silly remarks.”


President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is being commemorated with “silly remarks.”

At the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln was asked to speak.

That day, November 1st, was a very special day for me.

Lincoln gave a two-minute, 272-word speech on January 19, 1863, that The Patriot and Union (forerunner of The Patriot-News) referred to as “silly remarks.”

The Gettysburg Address – one of the most famous speeches in American history – was born from those inane remarks.

The cemetery stands on the site of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place on July 1-3, 1863, and was won by Gen.

The Confederate Army of Robert E Lee fought Gen.

Army of the Potomac under George G. Meade.

Over 3,500 Union soldiers are buried there.

23,000 Union soldiers died there, according to, while 28,000 Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing.

Thousands of soldiers were buried in hastily dug graves.

“…local attorney David Wills, on the other hand, spearheaded efforts to establish a national cemetery at Gettysburg.”

Wills and the Gettysburg Cemetery Commission had planned to dedicate the cemetery on October 23, but were forced to postpone it until mid-November after their chosen speaker, Edward Everett, requested more time to prepare.

Everett, a former president of Harvard College, a former United States senator, and a former Secretary of State, was one of the country’s most eloquent orators at the time.

Wills extended an invitation to President Lincoln on November 2, just weeks before the event, asking him to “formally [to]set aside these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks.”

Confederate soldiers were relocated from Gettysburg National Cemetery to cemeteries in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, according to the National Park Service; however, “a few Confederates remain interred at Gettysburg National Cemetery.”

Lincoln took the train from New York City to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Secretary of State William H. Seward was present as well.

Everett spoke for two hours at the dedication.

“The most ornate and cultivated of American orators has fallen below the occasion, and below his own reputation, in the greatest opportunity ever presented to him for rearing a monument more enduring than brass,” the New York World wrote in the Weekly Patriot and Union, referring to Everett.

The Patriot-News apologized for how it described the speech on the 150th anniversary of it in 2013.

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