The National Cemetery
The final resting place for more than 3,500 Union soldiers killed during the Battle of Gettysburg (later burials would bring the population to more than 6,000 veterans), the Gettysburg National Cemetery was dedicated on Nov. 19, 1863 during a ceremony that featured Abraham Lincoln delivering the famous Gettysburg address.
Immediately after the battle, Union and Confederate dead were buried in shallow graves at various locations on the battlefield. Shortly after the battle, local officials (including attorney David Wills, who hosted Lincoln the night before the dedication ceremony) acquired land and arranged for the reinterment of Union dead in a national cemetery. Buried Confederate dead were generally left in place until the early 1870s, when memorial associations arranged for the transfer of Confederate remains to cemeteries in Richmond, Raleigh, Savannah, Charleston and other local burial grounds.