What did US President Abraham Lincoln say in the 1863 Gettysburg Address?

PRESIDENT Abraham Lincoln delivered perhaps the most famous speech in American history on November 19, 1863.

The 272-word plea would become known as the Gettysburg Address.

What did Abraham Lincoln say in the Gettysburg address?

There are several copies of Lincoln's short speech, and they contain slight differences.

"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," Lincoln began, according to History.com.

"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."

The 16th president concluded: "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.”

How many words are in the Gettysburg Address?

There are 272 words in Lincoln’s Pennsylvania speech and he spoke for only a couple of minutes.

The speech was delivered at the dedication of the cemetery at the Civil War battlefield, and Lincoln was not even the featured speaker.

It is known as one of the most famous speeches in American history and is recognized as a literary masterpiece.

What was the Battle of Gettysburg?

The speech came several months after the most important and bloodiest engagement of the Civil War.

The Battle of Gettysburg took place during the first three days of July in 1863.

The battle featured Pickett's Charge on the final day, a failed attempt by the Confederate Army to break through Union lines.

General George Pickett lost two-thirds of his men.

The Confederate Army lost 28,000 men during those three days – one-third of its ranks. The Union troops lost 23,000 soldiers.

The loss was considered a devastating blow to the Confederate Army and a turning point in the war.

It is believed that up to 750,000 were killed during the Civil War.

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