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On Wednesday, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, Allen Guelzo delivered a keynote speech at AEI about the three-day battle's importance in American history.
As Guelzo, professor of history at Gettysburg College and author of "Gettysburg: The Last Invasion," recounted, the battle was the result of General Robert E. Lee's northward advance into Union territory. When the rebel army converged at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Union forces were able to rebuff the enemy, but not without sustaining massive casualties. By July 4, 1863, more than 40,000 were dead, wounded, or missing.
Though Union forces were not able to deliver a knockout punch, the battle shifted morale dramatically in their favor, and the Confederate army would never be able to recover. As Guelzo said, "After Gettysburg, the sun never shone on the South again."
But, he continued, the battle was not just a turning point in the American Civil War. As Abraham Lincoln declared in the Gettysburg Address, it was a new beginning for the republic founded 87 years before and proof positive of the longevity of the project of American democracy and of democracies the world over.
This July will mark the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, no doubt the highlight of our Civil War observances this year. It will be a natural moment for reflection, not just about the three-day battle but also about the larger meaning of what proved to be a turning point in the American experience.
In commemoration of this event, AEI’s Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies and Program on American Citizenship are pleased to host a lecture with Allen Guelzo on the significance of the Battle of Gettysburg. Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College and author of the just-released “Gettysburg: The Last Invasion” (Knopf).
Copies of Guelzo’s book will be available for purchase at the event.
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Thomas Donnelly, AEI
Allen Guelzo, Gettysburg College
Adjournment and Reception
For more information, please contact Mark Bennett at [email protected], 202.862.7184.
For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.
Thomas Donnelly is a defense and security policy analyst and codirector of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at AEI. He is the coauthor, with Frederick W. Kagan, of “Lessons for a Long War: How America Can Win on New Battlefields” (AEI Press, 2010). Among his recent books are “Ground Truth: The Future of U.S. Land Power” (AEI Press, 2008), also coauthored with Frederick W. Kagan; “Of Men and Materiel: The Crisis in Military Resources” (AEI Press, 2007), coedited with Gary J. Schmitt; “The Military We Need” (AEI Press, 2005); and “Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Strategic Assessment” (AEI Press, 2004). From 1995 to 1999, he was policy group director and a professional staff member for the US House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services. Donnelly also served as a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is a former editor of Armed Forces Journal, Army Times, and Defense News.
Allen Guelzo is the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and a professor of history at Gettysburg College. Previously, he was dean of the Templeton Honors College and the Grace F. Kea Professor of American History at Eastern University. He has won the Lincoln Prize and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Prize twice for his books “Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President” (Eerdmans, 2000) and “Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America” (Simon & Schuster, 2005).