North Carolina, Day 2

We had arrived in Gettysburg in the evening after a long day on the road, so were too tired to look around. But after a good night’s sleep we wanted to see something of the famous civil war site, so visited the Soldiers’ National Cemetery. Here at Gettysburg, more than 10,000 died at the famous battle, fought over three days in July, 1863. It is the largest battle ever fought in the Western hemisphere, was the turning point for the American civil war, and it was here, at a dedication ceremony to mark the cemetery which became the final resting place for about 3,500 Union soldiers, that President Abraham Lincoln gave one of history’s most famous speeches — the Gettysburg Address — on Nov. 19, 1863.

In a profound testament to the power of brevity, the president followed another speaker who spoke for two hours. President Lincoln delivered his address to the crowd of about 15,000 people in two minutes.

The sign says it all.

Cannons were the weapons of the day

Rows of unmarked graves of unidentified soldiers

Visitors leave Lincoln pennies on the Gettysburg Address plaque

The Soldiers' National Monument honors the fallen

Mary Jane Maffini, left, and Vicki Delany walk through the cemetery

After our visit to the cemetery we walked around the town.

A Gettysburg window with bunting

Arson poster

Got the message?

At mid-morning, we left on the last leg of the journey. We passed through Virginia, and at night fall arrived at the book-filled home of Molly Weston, in Apex, North Carolina, near Raleigh. After a delicious, welcoming supper we fell exhausted into our comfortable beds.

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