Gettysburg National Cemetery
Gettysburg National Cemetery
Image Size 15" x 22"
Release Date: November 2001
Edition size 400: 40 A/P: 20 P/P
The National Cemetery
No exhibit of artwork inspired by the Gettysburg Battlefield would be complete without including the National Cemetery and a portrait of President Lincoln. It was during the Cemetery dedication on November 19, 1863 that President Lincoln gave the speech that “re-made America”. Asked by local Gettysburg attorney David Wills to deliver “a few appropriate remarks”, Mr. Lincoln eloquently expressed his deepest feelings about the war and its meaning and re-defined the high ideals of the founding fathers of our nation.1
“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here”. Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” was immediately well received, despite initial reports to the contrary. It is ironic that not only did we “never forget what they did here” but we most definitely, “long remember” what Lincoln said here. His words that afternoon have achieved legendary proportions. It is now considered to be a masterpiece of American oratory.2
Framed by autumn leaves, “Long Remember” is viewed looking northeast toward the National Soldiers Monument. Captured just at sunrise on a brisk fall morning, the early light majestically magnifies the brilliant colors of the trees and leaves. The monument is strikingly lit by the low angle of the sun. I attempted to portray the serene nature of the scene and evoke the emotional atmosphere of this sacred place.
The National Soldiers Monument was dedicated on July 1, 1869. It was placed at the center of the semi-circle of Union graves by the Cemetery designer, landscape architect William Saunders. It also represents the approximate location of the dedication ceremony speaker’s stand, where Lincoln gave his immortal address.
The Goddess of Liberty stands atop a globe on the top of a tall pedestal. A band of eighteen stars encircles the pedestal. They symbolically represent the States of the Union Army whose sons are buried in the cemetery. On the base of the monument sit four figures. They allegorically represent “War”, “History”, “Plenty” and “Peace”. All of the white marble statues were sculpted in Italy by sculptor Randolph Rogers. The Monument itself was designed by the Batterson-Canfield Company.
Two years ago the most recently discovered casualty of the Battle of Gettysburg was laid to rest in the National Cemetery. The body was discovered in the railroad cut on the first day’s part of the field. Forensic experts confirmed the remains were that of a Civil War soldier killed in the battle, but could not determine whether the young man had fought for the Union or the Confederacy. A large memorial ceremony was held at the interment of this particular soldier. This Gettysburg warrior now lies among his comrades in arms. His name and allegiance will forever remain “unknown but to God”. If he was a Confederate soldier it seems only “fitting and proper” that a son of the south rests among his “countrymen” in this most “hallowed” of all Civil War Battlefields. There can be no greater symbolism of the re-unification of our country.
“Long Remember” is intended to remind us of the sacrifices made upon these fields by men from both the North and the South. It is my hope that it honors all the soldiers who died at Gettysburg and echoes the great words that Lincoln spoke at the dedication.
It was at Gettysburg that historians say the turning point of the war took place. The battle was the high water mark of the Confederacy. The crossroads of this quiet Pennsylvania town were indeed a crossroads in the history of the United States of America. Today we can look back and wonder. We can only speculate about what the history of our country and of the world would be like, had the outcome of the American Civil War been different.
It was at Gettysburg that so many men “gave the last full measure of devotion” “that that nation might live” and “that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom”.
We are one and undivided. We did “not perish from the earth.”
© 2001 Paul R. Martin III, Silent Sentinel Studio, PO Box 551, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 914-245-8903 www.paulmartinart.com firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Willis, Gary. “Lincoln At Gettysburg”. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1992
2 Ibid., see also Klement, Frank L. “The Gettysburg Soldiers Cemetery and Lincoln’s Address”. . Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Publishing, 1993
 Willis, Lincoln At Gettysburg . pp.22-23, 29-30
 There is much debate concerning the location of the speakers platform. See; Willis, Appendix II, pp. 205-210. Klement, Chapter XI, pp.179-191. Framton, Roy E. and Cole, James M. Lincoln and Human Interset Stories of the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Hanover, PA: The Sheridan Press, 1995. pp. 29-31. Frassanito, William A. Early Photography at Gettysburg. Gettysburg, PA: Thomas Publications. pp.160-167.
 Hawthorne, Frederick, W. Gettysburg: Stories of Men and Monuments. Hawthorne, Frederick W. Hanover, PA: The Sheridan Press