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[377] whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate-we cannot consecrate-we cannot hallow-this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Having safely crossed the Potomac, the Confederate army continued its retreat without halting to the familiar camps in central Virginia it had so long and valiantly defended. Meade followed with alert but prudent vigilance, but did not again find such chances as he lost on the fourth of July, or while the swollen waters of the Potomac held his enemy as in a trap. During the ensuing autumn months there went on between the opposing generals an unceasing game of strategy, a succession of moves and counter-moves in which the opposing commanders handled their great armies with

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