Gettysburg Address Plaque, New Bern National Cemetery, New Bern
US Army Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, Foundry
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 is attached to the front wall of the superintendent lodge between two doors.
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.
New Bern National Cemetery, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
35.123780 , -77.051750 View in Geobrowse
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 Bern National Cemetery,” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, www.cem.va.gov, (accessed August 20, 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
National Cemetery Administration
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.
The New Bern National Cemetery was established Feb. 1, 1867, north of downtown New Bern, a short distance from the western bank of the Neuse River. The cemetery is the final resting place for the Union soldiers, including 300 U.S. Colored Troops. Today, more than 6,500 people are interred in the cemetery’s 7.7 acres. The cemetery closed to new interments in 1996.
New Bern National Cemetery is located at 1711 National Avenue, New Bern, NC. Bivouac of the Dead Plaque is nearby. The Rhode Island Monument, the Massachusetts Monument, the New Jersey Monument, and the Connecticut Monument are also located at this cemetery.
The memorial plaque faces the front lawn of the superintendent lodge.