Shelby: Over the summer, more than a hundred thousand people visited the site of one of the deadliest and most famous battles of the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg.
So, here is today’s pop quiz question!
Where is Gettysburg? Is it:
B. South Carolina
You have got ten seconds to think it over.
Time is up! The right answer is “C.” Gettysburg is a town in Pennsylvania and the site of the biggest and bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil.
The Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 was also seen as the turning point of the Civil War. It was the closest the South came to victory and the North to defeat.
Mayor William Troxell: And over 12,000 Confederate soldiers, for over a mile along that tree line, came out.
Shelby: One hundred and sixty thousand men fought at Gettysburg in a bloody battle that lasted three days.
Mayor Troxell: But the Confederates kept coming. When they reached this wall, they came over the wall. And in this area where we are right now, this was hand-to-hand combat.
Shelby: The North was victorious, but it was a heavy cost. Some fifty thousand soldiers, North and South, were killed, wounded or missing in action.
These are the last images of the Civil War veterans together. Seventy-five years ago, during the 75th anniversary of the battle, about 1,800 Civil War veterans met here at the site of what is known as ‘the great charge,’ the biggest fight of Gettysburg.
Mayor Troxell: And they had them line up, the Confederates on one side of the wall and Union troops on the other, and they reached across the wall and shook hands with each other.
Shelby: And 150 years later, the men who fought here have not been forgotten. Over the summer, thousands participated in a reenactment of the famous battle which lasted from July 1st to July 3rd.
Actor: You hear about the battles and Lee and Grant, but not enough about the individual soldiers and the sacrifices they made.
Shelby: It was the sacrifices at the Battle of Gettysburg that inspired Abraham Lincoln to give his famous Gettysburg Address.
D. Scott Hartwig: Most Americans today believe we stand for equality, liberty, freedom for all. And we didn’t all stand for that through a part of our history. That’s what Lincoln talks about in the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln is talking about who we are as a nation.
Shelby: President Lincoln wrote it was important that ‘these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.’