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The Gettysburg National Cemetery and Military Park

Imagine you are the parents of one son who is fighting for the North while the other is with the Confederacy. This standard was the reality for thousands of families from 1861–1864.

Gettysburg, the sight of the bloodiest campaign within the United States of America. From July 1–3 brave heroes from the Confederate and Union armies did battle; 20, 000 killed or captured and 30,000 injured. The assault commenced with the buried quickly entombed due to apprehensiveness of disease. A request soon began for a formal memorial cemetery to be consecrated upon this anointed ground.

Robert E. Lee, wishing to avail on his win at Chancellorsville decided to advance his Army of Northern Virginia north. For three days, some of the atrocious fighting ever visualized happened.

“The world will long forget what we said here but will never forget what we did here.” These iconic words of Abraham Lincoln have been recalled for their eloquence and fortitude. Delivered on November 19, 1863 at the consecration of this cemetery, Lincoln presented the now famed Gettysburg Address. Coming in under 2 minutes it would become regarded as one of the greatest speeches ever.

The National Cemetery is part of Gettysburg National Military Park, managed by the National Park Service. It is the final resting place of more than 3,500 union soldiers. It is also the home of numerous statues and monuments dedicated to the war. Completed in 1872 the arrangement of the hallowed enclosure is a “wide semi-circle, radiating from a central point to be decorated with a grand monument,” representing each state in the union. Designed by William Sanders, a leading landscape architect at the time.

The Gettysburg National Cemetery’s visitors center in situated at 1195 Baltimore Pike. It is  a limb of the National Military Park. The Military Park has been commissioned to interpret and protect the battlefields, the non–battle areas (such as the Jenny Wade House) and the artifacts of the war.

“Choices and Commitments: The Soldiers of Gettysburg” is a lesson plan analyzing the Civil War. Produced by the National Park Service’s Teaching and Historic Places program, and it can by found on their webpage.

Note: No Confederate soldiers who fought against the union are buried within the National cemetery .