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homage to the Divine Majesty, for the wonderful things He has done in the Nation's behalf; and he called upon the people to invoke His Holy Spirit to subdue the anger which had produced, and so long sustained a needless and cruel rebellion; to change the hearts of the insurgents, to guide the councils of the Government with wisdom, and to visit with tender care and consolation, those who, through the vicissitudes of battles and sieges have been brought to suffer in mind, body or estate, and finally to lead the whole Nation through the paths of repentance and submission to the Divine Will, to unity and fraternal peace.
With these most important victories East and West, a load was lifted from the troubled heart of the President. The form bowed and almost broken with anxiety, once more was erect; his eye grew visibly brighter, and his whole aspect became again hopeful. But it is not proper to suppress the fact that he was greatly chagrined that Meade permitted Lee and his army again to escape across the Potomac*.
In the Autumn of this year of battles, the State of Pennsylvania purchased ground adjoining the Cemetery at Gettysburg-a part of the battle-field, and consecrated it as a National burying ground for the gallant soldiers who fell in the great battles there fought. On the 19th, of November, this ground was dedicated to its pious purpose, with solemn and impressive ceremonies. The President, members of the Cabinet, Governors of States, and a brilliant assemblage of officers, soldiers and citizens, gathered to witness the proceedings. Edward Everett, the venerable statesman, and world renowned scholar and orator was selected as the most suitable person to pronounce the oration. It was worthy of the occasion, the theme, and of New England's most polished and graceful speaker. President Lincoln while on his way
申 Mr. Carpenter States in his "Six Months at the White House page 219," That the President in reply to an enquiry, whether he had ever thought that better management on the part of the commanding General might have terminated the war, replied, "Yes, at Malvern Hill where McClellan failed to command an immediate advance upon Richmond; at Chancellorvilie when Hooker failed to re-enforce Sedgwick, after hearing his cannon upon the extreme right; and at Gettysburg, when Meade failed to attack Lee in his retreat at the bend of the Potomac:" "But" he added, "I do not know that I could have given any different order if I had been there, etc."
LINCOLN'S SPEECH AT GETTYSBURG.
from the Capital to the battle-field, was notified that he would be expected to make some remarks. Retiring a short time, he prepared the following address, which for appropriateness, comprehension, grasp of thought, brevity, beauty, the sublime in sentiment and expression, has scarcely its equal in English or American literature.
When Everett had concluded his oration, the tall, homely form of Lincoln rose; simple, rude, majestic, unconscious of himself, he slowly adjusted his spectacles, and drew from his pocket a manuscript and commenced reading. Before the first sentence, commencing "Four score and seven years. ago" was completed, the words arrested attention, and instantly the magnetic influence of a grand idea uttered by a sympathetic nature pervaded the vast assembly:
"Four score 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 battle-field of that We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those, who here gave their lives that that Nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
"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 consecrated 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 for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far, so nobly advanced. 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 gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this Nation, under God, shall have a
new birth of freedom; and that Government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth."
These twenty lines contain more than many a volume. There is nothing finer in Fisher Ames' oration on the death of Washington, nor in the masterly address of Daniel Webster, in laying the corner stone of the Bunker Hill Monument. There, above the remains of those who died that the Nation might live, he renewed the high resolve that the dead should not have died in vain; that this Nation, under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that a Government "of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Everett's oration was a polished specimen of consummate oratorical skill. It was perfectly committed to memory, and pronounced without a note. Yet it was so cold, artistic, and secured such admiration for the orator, as to make the audience at times, forget even the dead, to admire his well turned. periods, but it did not deeply touch the heart.
When Mr. Lincoln uttered the words "the world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here," he seemed so absorbed in the heroic sacrifices of the soldiers, as to utterly forget himself, but his hearers were fully conscious that he was the greatest actor in all the drama, and that he was uttering words which would live as long as the language. The magnetism of those who heard him, extended to the vast crowds beyond the reach of his voice, and tears, and sobs, and cheers, spoke the emotions which deeply moved the assemblage, with grand, patriotic, heroic thoughts, the sublime in action and sentiment.
Closing, he turned to Mr. Everett and congratulating him on his success; the orator gracefully replied: "Ah! Mr. Lincoln, how gladly I would exchange all my hundred pages, to have been the author of your twenty lines."
*Copied from the original.
MILITARY OPERATIONS AND EVENTS TO CLOSE OF 1863.
RESULTS OF GETTYSBURG VICTORY-LEE'S RETREAT-ATTEMPT TO RECAPTURE FORT DONELSON-CHATTANOOGA-CHICKAMAUGA— GRANT ASSUMES COMMAND OF OHIO, TENNESSEE, AND CUMBERLAND-BATTLES OF LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND MISSIONARY RIDGE SHERMAN RELIEVES NASHVILLE-OPERATIONS AGAINST CHARLESTON-MASSACRE AT LAWRENCE--THE DRAFT RIOTS IN NEW YORK-NEGRO SOLDIERS-RETALIATION-LINCOLN'S LETTER TO ILLINOIS-ELECTIONS OF 1863.
THE battle of Gettysburg was in its results one of the most decisive of the war. The slaveholder's army elated by their victory at Chancellorville, invaded Maryland and Pennsylvania, with the most lively hopes of transferring the war to the soil of the free States. They were as they boasted, about to water their horses in the Susquehanna and the Delaware. The rich granaries and the prolific pastures of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, were now about to afford them abundant supplies. The vast stores, the wealth and the plunder of the great Northern cities, were passing vividly before the gloating imaginations of the soldiers of the invaders.
The savage threats made by Jefferson Davis at Stevenson, Alabama, on his way to Montgomery to assume the Presidency of the confederacy* when he said: "We will carry the war where it is easy to advance,--where food for the sword and torch wait our army in the densely populated cities," were now, they believed, about to be realized. This proud and arrogant host was met on the hills of Gettysburg and hurled back, never again in force to cross the border.
* Greely's American Conflict, vol. 1, page 415.
The losses on both sides were very severe; the entire Union loss was 2,834 killed, 13,790 wounded and 6,643 missing. Total 23,267. The slaveholder's army lost much more heavily. 4,500 dead, were buried by the Union troops, 26,500 of their wounded troops were taken, besides 13,621 prisoners. Total 44,621.
The three day's fighting at Gettysburg had nearly exhausted the ammunition of Lee. His troops began to withdraw on Saturday, July 4th, and at dark Saturday night, the remains of his army were nearly all in motion, retiring by South Mountain and Waterloo Gap. He reached, Hagerstown on Monday. On Tuesday his advance had gone six miles south of that place. General Meade lost by inactivity a grand opportunity of annihilating the army of Lee. He did not start himself in pursuit of Lee until after the sixth; and, as he says, on the 12th of July, he was again in front of the enemy, but no immediate attack was made. General Halleck justly says: "Instead of attacking Lee in this position, with the swollen waters of the Potomac in his rear, without any means of crossing his artillery, and when a defeat must have caused the surrender of his entire army, he was allowed to construct a pontoon bridge, with lumber collected from canal boats and the ruins of wooden houses."* "The 13th," says Meade, "was occupied in reconnoisance of the enemy's position and preparations for an attack; but on advancing on the morning of the 14th, it was ascertained that he had retired the night previous by Falling Waters, and the ford at Williamsport." Some prisoners were taken, but the pursuit was not vigorous enough to be at all decisive. July 14th, General Meade telegraphed to General Halleck that "the enemy are all across the Potomac."
When this dispatch was read to the President, he could not entirely restrain his impatience. He said: "It seems as though General Meade, like others, was satisfied in driving the rebel army across the Potomac. Is not the south side as much our country as the other?" But then he immediately added in substance, "Meade has fought a great battle and won * See Halleck's Report, 1862.