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The 2014 Gettysburg Seminar: "The Unfinished Work"

The Unfinished Work- Lincoln at Gettysburg

"The Unfinished Work", Abraham Lincoln, David Wills
and the Soldiers' National Cemetery
September 12-14, 2014

For three long summer days in July 1863, two great armies faced each other near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The result of the great battle, though a Union victory, left behind a scene of devastation that was nearly indescribable to those who witnessed it. It was only through the good will of Gettysburg attorneys working with the governor of Pennsylvania that at minimum, the Union dead should have a final resting place, a "national cemetery".

On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered a eulogy to the dead and inspired the living, promising a "new birth of freedom." The meaning of Lincoln's greatest speech has not only been recognized for what it meant to Americans in 1863, but how it continues to inspire the country's citizens today. How can this be? Have Lincoln's words truly spanned the years, having once given the nation a motive to see a final end to the Civil War and then pass that resolve to generations since through countless wars and conflicts?

The creation of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg did not simply happen out of the good wishes of the Gettysburg populace, but through the somewhat turbulent efforts of many, some who saw it as a fitting tribute and others who believed it to be nothing more than a symbol of national futility. Like the country itself, the national cemetery has changed, adapted, grown physically and its message reaches far beyond the battlefield of Gettysburg.

The 2014 Gettysburg Seminar will explore the humble beginning of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg, its physical evolution, and how this hallowed ground and the Gettysburg Address still inspires Americans 150 years later.

To register for the 2014 Gettysburg Seminar, click on the link below to download the full schedule and registration form. Mail your completed form with payment to:

The 2014 Gettysburg Seminar
Attn. Evangelina Rubalcava
Gettysburg National Military Park
1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100
Gettysburg, PA 17325



The 2014 Gettysburg Seminar, "The Unfinished Work", Abraham Lincoln, David Wills and the Soldiers' National Cemetery, is sponsored by Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation with support from the Gettysburg Campus of the Harrisburg Area Community College.



Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center & Museum – 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA

Pre-Registration- Lobby of the Visitor Center, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Evening Guest Panel Discussion in the Kinsley Theater at the National Park Service Museum and Visitor Center, 7:15 – 8:30 p.m.

Panelists include Dr. Peter Carmichael (Gettysburg College), Dr. Ben Dixon (State University of New York in Oneonta), Dr. Charles Fennell (Harrisburg Area Community College and GNMP Licensed Battlefield Guide), Chris Gwinn (GNMP Park Ranger) and John Heiser (GNMP Park Historian). No refreshments. RSVP required; seating is limited to first 180 participants.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2014- MORNING PROGRAMS, 7:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) – Community Room at the Gettysburg Campus, 731 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg PA.

7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., Registration and coffee.

8:15 a.m., Welcome to Seminar Participants with Ed Clark, GNMP Superintendent - Welcome

8:30 – 9:30 a.m., "Acting as an Agent for Governor Curtin" David Wills and his Mark on Gettysburg, Dan Welch (Education Programs Coordinator, Gettysburg Foundation).

9:45 – 10:45 a.m., "A Trip to Gettysburg", Karlton Smith (GNMP Park Ranger).

10:45 – 11:15 a.m., Morning Break with light refreshments.

11:15 – 12:15 p.m., "How Gettysburg Has Remembered Lincoln", Dr. Ben Dixon (Professor of Geography, State University, Oneonta NY).

AFTERNOON PROGRAMS, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

(Participants will visit the national cemetery and George Spangler Farm or choose the optional horseback tour of the park.)


The Soldiers' National Cemetery. "A final resting place", with guides Jared Frederick (Penn State Altoona), Nicholas Redding (Long Branch Plantation), Troy Harman (GNMP Park Ranger), John Heiser (GNMP Park Historian).

The George Spangler Farm. "Too much for human endurance" – The Aftermath of Battle at the Spangler Farm, with guides Dan Welch (Gettysburg Foundation), and Chris Gwinn (GNMP Supervisory Park Ranger).


"A Strange and Blighted Land", with Licensed Battlefield Guides Andie Custer-Donahue, Terry Latschar and Robert Wingert. (*Limited to 33 participants; $15 additional fee required.)

EVENING RECEPTION, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (For all paid participants, additional fee for guests.)Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA.

6:00 – 7:15 p.m., Light dinner and cash bar in the Refreshment Saloon. Music provided by the Libby Prison Minstrels.

7:30 – 8:30 p.m., David Kincaid, "Music & Stories of the Irish Volunteer".

Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), Community Room, Gettysburg Campus, 731 Old Harrisburg Road, Gettysburg, PA

8:30 a.m. Morning refreshments.

MORNING PROGRAMS, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

OPTION 1: Walking Tour of the Historic Train Station & the David Wills House, 9 to 10:30 a.m., with guides John Hoptak (GNMP Park Ranger), and Daniel Vermilya (Antietam NB Park Ranger). Buses will leave from HACC campus to downtown and return, limited to 88 participants.

OPTION 2: Indoor Lecture, 9 to 10:30 a.m., "The Verbal Tapestry of the Gettysburg Address" with Chuck Teague (GNMP Park Ranger)

10:30am – 11:00 a.m., Morning Break with refreshments.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon, Closing Remarks Panel

Panelists include Nicholas Redding (Long Branch Plantation), Jim Hessler (Licensed Battlefield Guide, GNMP), John Hoptak (GNMP Park Ranger), Daniel Vermilya (Antietam BP Park Ranger) and John Heiser (GNMP Park Historian).

(Schedule subject to change)

Did You Know?

Eternal Light Peace Memorial

The Eternal Light Peace Memorial at Gettysburg National Military Park, the result of a cooperative effort between veterans of the North and South, was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 3, 1938 during the 75th Anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg.