The Gettysburg Address was delivered by President Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery (now called the Gettysburg National Cemetery) at Gettysburg, PA. The dedication of the cemetery was an important opportunity for the President to honor those who had given their lives during the Battle of Gettysburg.

The Battle of Gettysburg, from July 1-3, 1863, was one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Many historians consider the battle one of the turning points of the war. The Union North and Confederate South lost more than 7,000 men during the three-day conflict. Over 45,000 were wounded, and more than 10,000 were captured or missing. The cemetery was planned as the final resting place for more than 3,500 Union soldiers who lost their lives at Gettysburg. When Lincoln gave his historic speech in 1863, it was only a few months after the devastating Civil War battle. Today, more than 7,000 soldiers from all America’s major wars are buried there.

Lesson Plan from the American Association of School Librarians:
Ben's Guide—The Gettysburg Address