Gettysburg 3Union and Confederate forces engaged in warfare during the American Civil War in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which would become known as The Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1–3, 1863. Spanning three days, the battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war’s turning point.  Union Maj. Gen. George Meade’s Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee’s attempt to invade the North. Lee then led his army on a torturous retreat back to Virginia. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the three-day battle, the most costly in US history.

Gettysburg 4On November 19, President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address. Abraham Lincoln’s carefully crafted address, secondary to other presentations that day, was one of the greatest and most influential statements of national purpose. In just over two minutes, Lincoln reiterated the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of the Union sundered by the secession crisis, with “a new birth of freedom” that would bring true equality to all of its citizens.  Lincoln also redefined the Civil War as a struggle not just for the Union, but also for the principle of human equality.

Gettysburg 5His famous speech read:

“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.

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 battlefield 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. 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.”

Gwttysburg 1The website highlights some of the paranormal activity claimed to occur at Gettysburg:

“In addition to these former private residences, spirits on the battlefield itself abound. There are numerous reports of apparitions of phantom soldiers…. seen marching in formation, riding horses, and still seemingly fighting the battle…. from various parts of the park. These ghosts haunt the fields where Pickett’s Charge took place, the slopes of Little Round Top, the Peach Orchard, the Wheatfield, and many other places.

Gettysburg 2However, the highest concentration of ghostly sightings and strange experiences seems to be in the area called the Devil’s Den, and also in the areas around it. It is in the nearby Triangular Field where electronic equipment and cameras are said to seldom work. It is in the aptly named Valley of Death where the apparitions of soldiers are frequently reported.
And it is in the Devil’s Den itself where not only are the ghosts of the slain soldiers seen, but heard also.
If there is a place on the Gettysburg Battlefield which is more haunted than any other…”

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