2011 marks 150 years since the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861 which began the American Civil War. This sesquicentennial anniversary marks an event that has arguably had the greatest impact on our nation's history. Although it wasn't for another 5 years almost to the day when the war ended with Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, it was the battle of Gettysburg which presented a turning point in the war.
Although over 620,000 people were killed in the war, it was the battle in Gettysburg which over three hot July days which was the war's bloodiest involving 160,000 men and 51,000 casualties. Following the battle, on November 19, President Lincoln went to the battlefield to dedicate it as a military cemetery. It was here that Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. In two short minutes the president spoke the words "... government of the People, by the People, for the People" which has come to symbolize democracy itself.