Looking For Lincoln: The Man, The Symbol





If you want to know Abraham Lincoln - the man he was, the symbol he is - go to the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg.

Cast in bronze, he stares pensively out over what would have been the terrible aftermath of three monstrous days of fighting and killing - seven thousand soldiers died here between July 1 and 3, 1863.

About a mile away, Lincoln presides over the place where the Union dead were reburied later that year.

"There were coffins stacked off to the side," remarked James McPherson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Lincoln scholar. "The smell of death was still in the air because they were still in the process of disinterring some of the soldiers.

"And on the high ground at that hillside you would have seen a large speaker stand with all kinds of dignitaries sitting up there."

Lincoln, invited to say a few words at the dedication of the cemetery, delivered the Gettysburg Address.

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