And yes, Gettysburg… you know the address. Though probably most don’t know where it is.
The site of Abraham Lincoln’s finest hour in Pennsylvania in fact only lasted two minutes.
But it resounds 160 years on today, November 19, and will do so for 1,600 to come.
In the most deprecating manner the Union’s Commander-in-Chief opined on this day in 1863: ‘The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.’
And peers noted that the Union’s leader was worried that his tribute would be overshadowed by Edward Everett’s two-hour speech.
Let battle begin
The good news for us is that the National Park Service, as they do across America, ‘have come to dedicate a portion of that field’ for us to pay our respects.
Gettysburg, as General George E Meade and General Robert E. Lee knew only too well, was a pivotal crossroads (aren’t they all?)
Now where Meade and Lee had maps and compasses, these days we have GPS.
Now while you can, and should, visit the battlefield and it will take three to five hours.
A day in history
Today it is all about Lincoln’s address.
And we are encouraged to kick off our trip through history at the home of attorney David Wills.
Where Abe stayed and perfected his speech the night before.
An annual parade of Civil War living history groups is held with the Gettysburg Address anniversary.
While there will be a commemoration day illumination which will feature a luminary candle on each of the 3,512 Civil War soldiers’ graves.
Now if you can’t get to Gettysburg today the National Parks Service give us a virtual tour, complete with the full speech.
Gettysburg… you know the address. Now look up the postal address on your next trip to the east coast.
Calling culture vultures
Now the Cultural Experience will give you a full day at Gettysburg in their 14-day American Civil War: Eastern Theater Tour.
And throw in Manassas (we were there), Fredericksburg and Appomattox among the highlights.
You’ll get return flights from London and will stay in 3 and 4 star hotels. See site for prices and conditions.