Learning from Lincoln’s Compelling Precision
On November 19, 1863 — 150 years ago today — a tall, stressed out man from Illinois stood up to deliver 269 words that changed a country. It took him only two minutes.
Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, gave his Gettysburg Address, one of the most legendary speeches in American history, undoubtedly spoken into the most tumultuous period of a then “new nation conceived in Liberty.”
The Civil War had stretched three long years, claiming thousands of lives from the North and South, including my own GGGG-grandfather, a member of the 14th Regiment North Carolina Volunteers. But in the summer of 1863, on the same ground on which Lincoln would give this speech, the bloodiest battle had been fought. Casualities at Gettysburg totaled over 57,000. And though it became a turning point in the war, death was everywhere. It stained the ground and filled the air…