From the Battle of Gettysburg to the Gettysburg Address, Rare Civil War-era Run of the Daily Evening Express, Lancaster, PA
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“…during the day General Buford drove a regiment of rebel infantry out of Gettysburg. They retreated in a north easterly direction….”
This rare run of a Pennsylvania newspaper includes a printing of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in the Nov. 21, 1863 issue. Other issues include reports of the battles at Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, the siege of Vicksburg, and much more. Accounts relating to the Battle of Gettysburg first appear in the July 1, 1863 issue, which noted Buford’s action against the Confederate Army. There is no issue for Saturday, July 4 (the day after the battle), possibly due to the holiday. No pages appear to have been removed from the volume in this section. [GETTYSBURG].
Newspapers, Daily Evening Express, bound volume, May 7, 1863—April 29, 1864, Lancaster, Pa., each issue 4 pp., 15¾ x 21¾ in. Published Monday thru Saturday, No evidence of removed issues; approximately 300 issues total.
The July 6 issue announces “The Victory Complete. The Enemy Routed…Lee Retreating … Interesting Details of the Greatest Battle of the War. The Aggregate Loss Estimated at 50,000,” followed by a “Graphic Description of Friday’s Contest” and General Meade’s official reports.
The July 7 issue includes additional accounts of Gettysburg, as well as Vicksburg, under the bold headline “Glorious News! Vicksburg surrendered on the Fourth of July.” Further accounts of the capture of Vicksburg follow on July 9.
November 20, 1863. “GETTING THEIR EYES OPEN: Light begins to dawn upon the ‘poor white trash’ of the South…” Also contains a column and a half summarizing Edward Everett’s speech, and quoting his conclusion.
November 21, 1863. After advertisements, the first article on page 1 is titled “THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY,” relating a speech of William Seward: “Fellow-citizens. I am now sixty years old, and I have been in public life for forty years of that time. This night is the first time that anybody in the state of Maryland was willing to listen to my voice (a voice, this is Pennsylvania)- or in Pennsylvania, so near to the border of Maryland, and the reason was that I saw forty years ago opening before this people the grave yard that was to be filled with brothers who fell in mortal political conflict, and I knew that the cause that was hurrying them on to that dreadful strife was slavery.” Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is printed on page 2.
Associated Press reports of the Gettysburg Address were sent by telegram and published in metropolitan newspapers around the country on November 20, the day after the speech. In Lancaster, a much smaller town with a much smaller newspaper, it took an additional day to publish the Address even though it was much closer to the actual event. The Lancaster Daily Evening Express began publishing in 1856 and published under that name until 1872, when it became the Lancaster Daily Examiner in 1872, then the Daily Examiner and Express in 1876.