As president of the U.S. during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address as part of an important ceremony to dedicate a cemetery for deceased soldiers. This carefully written speech became a highly significant and symbolic piece in U.S. history. It clearly redefined the Union’s participation in the war, which posed as a major challenge to a politically unstable country. Let’s have a look back at history and learn why Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address.
The Purpose for Writing the Gettysburg Address
Why did Lincoln write the Gettysburg Address? Because of the massive death toll caused by the Civil War, Lincoln needed to make the people understand the real purpose and reason for fighting. During the public address that he delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Pennsylvania, he redefined the meaning and purpose of what the Union soldiers have been fighting for. This event took place at Gettysburg on the 19th day of November 1863. At that point, the Civil War was still ongoing.
According to many historians, the speech was the best ever written in the history of the United States. It has endured numerous years. Until now, many politicians and government leaders use this as reference for their very own speeches. When Lincoln wrote this one, he carefully chose the words to deliver a very clear message. As reference, he discussed the significance of the Declaration of Independence. He expounded on the importance of human equality in order to form a unified nation.
Although the Union came out victorious in the Battle of Gettysburg, the aftermath was not that good. The death toll was very high, with more than 160,000 soldiers involved in the war. The estimated number of dead soldiers was 7,500. The ceremony was dedicated in honor of these brave soldiers. An estimated 15,000 individuals joined the event. It was also participated by several governors from various states. David Tod represented Ohio, Horatio Seymour stood for New York and Joel Parker represented New Jersey. The other special guests were Augustus Bradford of Maryland, Andrew Gregg Curtin of Pennsylvania and Oliver P. Morton of Indiana.
Additional Information and Other Relevant Details
The ceremony at Gettysburg was held to dedicate the cemetery. More importantly, it was a tribute paid to the noble and courageous efforts of the soldiers, who were fighting for the establishment of a free government. For these reasons, the importance of the Gettysburg Address is undeniable. At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., the south wall featured this text for everyone to see and remember.