Front Matter The Beginning of the U.S Franklin's Return Troubles After the War The Constitution The First President Washington's Troubles A Wonderful Invention Death of Washington The U.S. Buys Land War With African Pirates Death of Somers The First Steamboat The Gerrymander The War of 1812 "Don't Give Up the Ship" The Star-Spangled Banner Clinton's "Big Ditch" More Land Bought Jackson Stories Jackson's Presidency New Inventions Whitman's Ride The Mormons The First Telegraph The Mexican War The Slavery Quarrel Daniel Webster's Youth Webster's Speeches Early Times in California Discovery of El Dorado Rush to California The Underground Railroad The First World's Fair John Brown's Raid Lincoln's Youth The First Shot The Call to Arms The President's Decision Admiral Farragut The Monitor and Merrimac The Penninsular Campaign Barbara Frietchie Lincoln's Vow The Battle of Gettysburg The Taking of Vicksburg Riots, Raids, and Battles The Burning of Atlanta The March to the Sea Sheridan's Ride The Doings of the Fleet Lee's Surrender Decoration Day Lincoln Stories Lincoln's Rebukes A President's Son A Noble Southerner Hard Times in the South The Atlantic Cable Best Way to Settle Quarrels Our One Hundredth Birthday Gold for Greenbacks A Clever Engineer Death of Garfield The Celebration at Yorktown The Great Statue A Terrible Flood Lynch Law The Great White City The Explosion of the Maine The Battle of Manila Hobson's Brave Deed Surrender of Santiago The Hawaiian Islands The Annexation of Hawaii The Philippine War Assassination of McKinley The Panama Canal Roosevelt's Administration Two Presidents German Views The World War Since the World War

Story of the Great Republic - Helene Guerber

The Battle of Gettysburg

Burnside, having failed to win a victory at Fredericksburg, was now removed in his turn, and the command of the Union army given to General Joseph Hooker, whom the soldiers called ".Fighting Joe." But at Chancellorsville (1863) Hooker was stunned by a cannon ball, and as his army was thus left during several hours without a general, it was completely defeated. Owing in part, no doubt, to this accident, Lee won a brilliant victory over an army twice as large as his own; but he lost one of the bravest Southern officers, the gallant Stonewall Jackson. The latter was riding along with his staff, at nightfall, when his own men, mistaking him for the enemy, suddenly fired upon him, thus killing the man they loved so dearly.

Chancellorsville was the last great victory won by the Confederates in the Civil War, but their past successes had filled their hearts with hope. When Hooker retreated, therefore, Lee boldly crossed the Potomac and marched into Pennsylvania. His plan was to carry the war into the enemy's country and make the Northern people feel the hardships which the South had to suffer. Hooker, who had not expected this bold move, followed him in hot haste; but before he could overtake Lee, the command of the Union army was taken from him and given to General Meade.

It was the latter general, therefore, who overtook Lee at Gettysburg, on the 1st of July, 1863. Here was fought the greatest and most decisive battle of the whole war. It lasted three whole days, and about one third of the men engaged in it were killed or wounded. Both sides did wonders in the way of bravery on this occasion, and the Confederate General Pickett led a charge which will ever be famous in history. But in spite of their determined valor, the Confederates were finally beaten, and Lee was forced to retreat to Virginia, having failed in his second and last attempt to carry the war into the North.

So many Americans lost their lives at Gettysburg that part of the battle ground was changed into a national cemetery. The dead of



both armies are buried there, and, besides many nameless graves, there are those of some of the principal men who fell during those three awful days (July 1–3, 1863). The regiments which took part in the battle have since erected beautiful monuments on the spots where they stood during that terrible but glorious struggle, when both sides proved their valor.

Every year, on the anniversary of the battle, speeches are made in Gettysburg Cemetery, but none of them have ever equaled the short address made by President Lincoln, when he dedicated it the autumn of 1863. This speech, one of the simplest and most famous in our history, runs as follows:

"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 battle field of that war. 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, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."