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November 19, 1863

FOURSCORE and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final restingplace for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take in

creased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


By the flow of the inland river,

Whence the fleets of iron had fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead,
Under the sod and the dew;

Waiting the judgment day;
Under the one, the Blue;

Under the other, the Gray.

These in the robings of glory,

Those in the gloom of defeat;
All with the battle-blood gory,
In the dusk of eternity meet, —
Under the sod and the dew;

Waiting the judgment day;
Under the laurel, the Blue;

Under the willow, the Gray.

From the silence of sorrowful hours

The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers,
Alike for the friend and the foe;
Under the sod and the dew;

Waiting the judgment day;
Under the roses, the Blue;

Under the lilies, the Gray.

So, with an equal splendor,

The morning sun-rays fall,
With a touch impartially tender,
On the blossoms blooming for all,
Under the sod and the dew;

Waiting the judgment day;
Broidered with gold, the Blue;

Mellowed with gold, the Gray.

So, when the summer calleth

On forest, and field of grain,
With an equal murmur falleth
The cooling drip of the rain;
Under the sod and the dew;

Waiting the judgment day;
Wet with the rain, the Blue;

Wet with the rain, the Gray.

Sadly, but not with upbraiding,

The generous deed was done;

In the storm of the years now fading
No braver battle was won;
Under the sod and the dew;

Waiting the judgment day;
Under the blossoms, the Blue;

Under the garlands, the Gray.

No more shall the war cry sever,

Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead.
Under the sod and the dew;

Waiting the judgment day;
Love and tears for the Blue;
Tears and love for the Gray.



LINCOLN's first term as President came to an end while the Civil War was still unfinished, and he was re-elected for a second term. His inauguration was in March, 1865.

Lincoln could then foresee the end of the war, and in his second inaugural address he showed the people how curious and sad it was that both the North and the South should be reading the same Bible and praying to the same God, each calling upon Him for aid against the other. “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray,” he said, “that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away." But he

could see no other way than to keep on fighting until the question was decided between union and no union, between freedom and slavery.

What made Lincoln great was what made all who knew him love him and makes us all, North and South, love him to this day. That is because he had no hatred in his heart. He was the strongest man in the country. He was not only strong in his patience, in his power of making other people see as he saw, and do as he desired, but he was strong in his love for mankind. And that is the meaning of the last words of his speech when the country made him President a second time, “With malice toward none, with charity for all.” A little more than a month after that, the war was over and Lincoln was dead, killed by an assassin's bullet.



March, 1865

WITH malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and orphans; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

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