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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Gettysburg Address Plaque, Salisbury National Cemetery, Salisbury

  • Type

    Plaque

  • Subjects

    Historic Political Figures

    Civil War, 1861-1865

  • Creator

    US Army Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, Foundry

  • City

    Salisbury

  • County

    Rowan

  • Description

    The Gettysburg Address tablet was placed to honor the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in 1809. It is cast-iron and painted black with silver lettering. It is five feet tall by three feet wide and attached to poles leaving the bottom of the tablet a few inches off the ground.

    Images: Far-off view

  • Inscription

    ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT LINCOLN / AT THE DEDICATION OF / THE GETTYSBURG NATIONAL CEMETERY / NOVEMBER 19, 1863

    FOUR SCORE 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 BATTLE-FIELD / OF THAT WAR. WE HAVE COME TO DEDICATE A / PORTION OF THAT FIELD, AS A FINAL RESTING / PLACE 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 CAN NOT DEDICATE - / WE CAN NOT CONSECRATE – WE CAN NOT HALLOW - / THIS GROUND. THE BRAVE MEN, LIVING AND DEAD, / WHO STRUGGLED HERE, HAVE CONSECRATED IT, / FAR AND ABOVE OUR POOR POWER TO ADD OR DETRACT. / THE WORLD WILL HAVE 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 INCREASED / 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.

  • Custodian

    Salisbury National Cemetery, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

  • Dedication Date

    Circa 1909

  • Decade

    1900s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.659280 , -80.474870 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "GETTYSBURG ADDRESS PLAQUE. VIEW TO SOUTHWEST. - Salisbury National Cemetery, 202 Government Road, Salisbury, Rowan County, NC," HALS NC-2-14, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. Link

      Fullerlove, Rhys. “Historical Work Returns To Rock Island Arsenal,” United States Army, www.army.mil, (accessed August 1, 2016) Link

      Powell, William S. and Beverly Tetterton. 2006. "Cemeteries, National and State," NCPEDIA, (accessed August 19, 2013) Link

      “Arsenal Reproducing Cast Iron Plaques of the Gettysburg Address,” Quad-City Times (Davenport, IA), July 28, 2009, (accessed July 31, 2016) Link

      “New Gettysburg Address Tablets For National Cemeteries To Honor Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial,” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration, http://www.cem.va.gov, (accessed December 17, 2015) Link

      “Salisbury National Cemetery, Salisbury, North Carolina,” National Park Service, www.nps.gov, (accessed July 31, 2016) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Cast-iron

  • Sponsors

    National Cemetery Administration, VA Historic Preservation Office

  • Subject Notes

    The Army began producing a standard Gettysburg Address tablet for all national cemeteries in 1909, with one made at Rock Island Arsenal in 1908 for the Rock Island National Cemetery used as a template. National cemeteries developed after 1950 did not receive one of the tablets and others had been lost over time. In 2009, with funding provided through VA's Historic Preservation Office, the National Cemetery Administration History Program coordinated the acquisition of sixty-two cast-iron tablets containing the Gettysburg Address, the most prominent historic tablet found throughout the 125 national cemeteries. New tablets were produced at the Army's nearby Rock Island Arsenal where the original tablets were manufactured.

    Five Gettysburg Address tablets can be found at National Cemeteries in North Carolina: two in Salisbury (National Cemetery and National Cemetery Annex), New Bern, Wilmington, and Raleigh.

  • Location

    The historic section of Salisbury National Cemetery is located at 202 Government Road in Salisbury. The memorial plaque is a short distance to the north of the AMVETS Carillon and the Pennsylvania Monument across the street from the superintendent lodge. The Bivouac of the Dead Plaque is also located near the superintendent lodge.

  • Landscape

    The memorial plaque stands on the cemetery lawn, surrounded by tombstones.

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