This Week in the Civil War - 692

Nov 1, 2013

On Monday, November 2, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln received an invitation to participate in the dedication of a new cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for those who had fallen there during July’s battle. 

The ceremony’s date, November 19, was less than three weeks away, and Lincoln’s invitation came as an afterthought by the ceremony’s organizers, since the original intention of such a ceremony was to emphasize the states which would share the expense of the project, not the nation. 

Given that Edward Everett had been asked to be the principal speaker six weeks earlier, organizers requested that Lincoln “formally dedicate the [cemetery] grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks.”  Abraham Lincoln, admonished to be avoid being lengthy in his comments, accepted on the day his invitation was extended.