National Cemetary, Gettysburg
The gravestones are laid out in rows, marking the graves for over 3,500 Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg. Over 10,000 died at Gettysburg alone, during the four years of the Civil War, over 620,000 Americans perished. The graves are arranged in a wide semi-circle that radiate out from the Soldiers’ National
Monument, which marks the center of the cemetery. The burials were organized around state sections, divided into an inner ring (for smaller states) and outer ring (for larger states). This design was created by William Saunders, a famed “landscape gardener” , thus “the position of each lot, and indeed of each interment, is relatively of equal importance.” The evenness and equality of the gravestones, where men of differing rank and position are side byside, There were three types of stones that make up the state sections and individual
graves. Larger grey stones serve as state section markers and also indicate the number of fallen from each state. Long, rectangular granite stones, which are set nearly at ground level, serve as gravestones for the remains of soldiers buried in the state sections, and mostly are marked by names. Lastly, you will also see hundreds of small marble squares bearing only numbers. This is one of three such sections in the Civil-War portion of the cemetery, all of whom are UNKNOWN.
The Visitor's Center should be your first stop in Gettysburg.
Walk throught the cemetery where President Lincoln gave his address. Next to the cemetery was the location of the old Visitor's Center which is run by our National Parks Service. This center has been leveled and a new one is just a short drive away due South. At the new visitor's center, view the Cyclorama of the battlefield to put everything into perspective.
Nov. 19, 1863
Fourscore 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 it as a final resting place for those who died here that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have hallowed 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 rather for us the living, we here be 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 this nation 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."
Site of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address as well as the resting place for many soldiers (3555?). As I have said before I tend to avoid cemeteries in general. However, it is worth stopping and taking a look around. It is a very humbling sight that puts things into perspective of just how many lives were lost. If you find the somber surroundings a little too depressing take the time and enjoy the variety of very old trees and tablets with stanzas from Theodore O'Hara's poem, The Bivouac of the Dead around the cemetery.
Gettysburg National Cemetery is located on Cemetery Hill in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, the site was purchased and Union dead were moved from shallow burial sites on the battlefield to the cemetery.
Our guide gave us the following information: over 600,000 people lost their lives during the Civil War--most of these from disease. There were 51,000 casualties at Gettysburg alone--this figure includes those who were injured or killed.
The first stirrings of war began in December 1860, when South Carolina left a confederation of states known as The Union.
The National Cemetery is the final resting place for veterans of the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address in this location as a tribute to the fallen heroes.
Another National Park Service site, the National Cemetery is where President Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address in November of 1863. It is also, of course, the burial site of over 7000 soldiers/veterans. Half of those buried here are from the Civil War. There is no driving allowed through the cemetery, but it does provide a nice walk and reflection.
The NY monument which is looking over the entire cemetery is apparently where Lincoln spoke.