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My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
12-06-2013, 03:09 PM
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RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address"
(12-05-2013 12:31 AM)irshgrl500 Wrote:  
(12-04-2013 07:39 PM)David Lockmiller Wrote:  When Lincoln was on his way to the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, an old gentleman told him that his ony son fell on Little Round Top at Gettysburg, and he was going to look at the spot.

Mr. Lincoln replied:

"You have been called on to make a terrible sacrifice for the Union, and a visit to that spot, I fear, will open your wounds afresh.

"But, oh, my dear sir, if we had reached the end of such sacrifices, and had nothing left for us to do but to place garlands on the graves of those who have already fallen, we could give thanks even amidst our tears; but when I think of the sacrifices of life yet to be offered, and the hearts and homes yet to be made desolate, before this dreadful war is over, my heart is like lead within me, and I feel at times like hiding in deep darkness."

--E. W. Andrews in "Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln" at pages 510-11.

And, yet, President Abraham Lincoln carried on to save democracy for the world!

Question: Did this chance encounter on the train to Gettysburg lead President Lincoln to add the profound last paragraph of the Gettysburg Address?

"It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated, here, to the unfinished work that they have thus far so nobly carried on. 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 here gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

[Plutarch: "So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out truth of anything by history."]

I know I am jumping in here without the least bit to back me up on this very issue, that is, as far as a sourced reference is concerned. As far as opinions go, I think the experience might have had an impact on President Lincoln. He was a man who LOVED his literary experiences, so much, as a teenager, he'd recite and rewrite words from the few books he had read, over and over. He realized too, at a young age, he was a FANTASTIC orator, as he loved to speak or give speeches, as a teen, while working outside. He was such a distraction, capturing an audience from neighboring farms, and others near by, his father annoyed, told him, he was not allowed to give talks or speeches, when laboring for money, and his distractions were not appreciated (at least, not by Thomas). Though being sensitive, and aware of people's emotions, was something that he did possess, and had an effect on him. So, I would bet that the experience had an impact on him, to the point, of including a change in his address.
We'll actually likely never know, as President Lincoln shared very little of his own thoughts and actions, with others, (except that he was "working" on the address, after receiving the invitation from Wills), and that is why, (I believe), there has been so much research, and analysis on the address, itself. There is quite a bit, in fact a lot, which is shrouded in mystery behind the address, and events around it.
David, you seem to be highly adept at research, if someone here doesn't know the answer, (with the members of this group, I'd be surprised if one did not.) and there is an actual answer, ie. something on record, you could certainly find it.

The story sounds apocryphal to me.

Bill Nash
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RE: My "150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address" - LincolnMan - 12-06-2013 03:09 PM

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