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The Battle of Gettysburg occurs in the middle of the war, on July 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1863. It is often called the turning point of the War, yet it did not end the war. It is both the largest and the bloodiest battle of the war – with 165,000 men engaged and 51,000 casualties – killed, wounded and missing. Gettysburg is the closest the Confederacy comes to winning the war.
Four months after the battle, President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address here at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Now considered the nation’s most famous speech, Lincoln’s 272 words redefine America. When the Civil War ends a year and a half later, slavery is abolished—and in the decades that follow, the United States becomes the most powerful nation on earth. Before the war, it was said, “the United States are….” After the war, it becomes “the United States is.”