November 17, 2013

This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Nov. 17

Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”; Fighting in Tennessee


Associated Press

— President Abraham Lincoln delivered the “Gettysburg Address” on Nov. 19, 1863, at the Gettysburg battlefield, one of the most famous addresses by a politician in American history. The occasion: a dedication ceremony planned near the Gettysburg battlefield to give a better burial site to fallen soldiers than the shallow earthen graves they were initially given after the epic battle in July of that year. A former Harvard president was designated the featured speaker at the dedication and Lincoln was asked to speak as an afterthought, but would go down in history with his short by memorable speech that opened “Four score and seven years ago ...”  Elsewhere, Union soldiers under the command of Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside plunged Nov. 16, 1863, into the thick of fighting with Confederate opponents near Knoxville, Tenn. The Confederates struck on the flank of Burnside’s column but Burnside was able to maneuver his troops and get them on the march to Knoxville. The Confederate attack by Lt. Gen. James Longstreet ended with a Union victory and Knoxville firmly in Union control.