Skip to content

Follow us!

FREE SHIPPING on all orders!

    Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

    Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

    President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most iconic addresses in American history on November 19, 1863, at the opening of a military cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War. Lincoln skillfully and movingly told a war-weary public in fewer than 275 words why the Union needed to fight and win the Civil War.

    The Battle of Gettysburg, fought four months before Lincoln gave his speech, was the Civil War's single bloodiest battle. 45,000 men were killed, injured, captured, or went missing over the span of three days. The battle also proved to be a watershed moment in the war, as General Robert E. Lee's defeat and retreat from Gettysburg signaled the end of the Confederate invasion of Northern territory and the start of the Southern army's final demise.

    Charged by Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin with the responsibility of caring for the Gettysburg dead, an attorney named David Wills purchased 17 acres of grassland to convert into a cemetery for the more than 7,500 who died in the battle. Wills requested Edward Everett, one of the era's most renowned orators, to speak at the cemetery's dedication. Wills also addressed a letter to Lincoln, almost as an afterthought, two weeks before the event, requesting "a few appropriate remarks" to consecrate the grounds.

    At the dedication, the crowd listened to Everett for two hours before Lincoln addressed the crowd. Lincoln's address was brief, lasting no more than two or three minutes. The speech highlighted Lincoln's recasting of the Civil War as a struggle for freedom and equality for all, a concept he had not championed in the years preceding the war. This was Lincoln's conclusion to the address: “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.”

    At first, reaction to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was divided along partisan lines.  Nonetheless, many regard the "little speech," as he later dubbed it, as the most eloquent statement of the American democratic vision ever written.

    Order a bag of Mount Rushmore Coffee Company's "Abe Lincoln's Gettysburg Mocha" coffee today to commemorate the speech that inspired the Union to victory in the Civil War!

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published