The Fight For Tennessee: July 1863 to January 1864

Gettysburg Address

Why do we consider the Gettysburg Address so important?

Let us begin just as Lincoln did, and peruse the opening words:

Of course someone else could have used that magical, almost Biblical, phrase “four score and seven years,” but they had not done so. It was Lincoln, in his calm but fertile brain, who employed perhaps the most enticing words ever used in a major address to that point. The phrase “our fathers” triggered emotions in the audience. Eighty-seven years is a long time, but there were people in America whose fathers had fought in the Revolutionary War. Robert E. Lee was one; Joseph E. Johnston another. And then, to use that wonderful phrase “dedicated to the proposition.” How very Lincoln. Right there he indicated to his audience that these things could not be taken for granted. One had to fight for the propositions one held.

A reproduction of Lincoln’s famous speech is shown here, giving a good idea at the brevity of the piece, which conveyed so much powerful emotions in a few words.


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