Andrew Carnegie Free Library to honor Gettysburg Address

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Andrew Carnegie Free Library leaders want to make sure Nov. 19, 2013, is just as memorable as Nov. 19, 1863 -- the date President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address in the middle of the raging Civil War.

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the famous speech, the library's Diane Klinefelter has organized a program commemorating the address, as well as the consecration of the National Cemetery, also in Gettysburg.

Dressed in period clothing, Ms. Klinefelter will give tours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 23 of the library's Capt. Thomas Espy Post No. 153 of the Grand Army of the Republic, which was the leading veterans' organization for Union soldiers at the time.

The post has been documented by scholars as "the most intact one in the country," according to Maggie Forbes, library executive director.

The Gettysburg Address will be recited at 12:30 and 2 p.m. by Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek and an artifact from the battle, the Commander's Gavel, will be featured. The gavel's head contains a bullet from fierce fighting at Devil's Den on the battle's second day.

Ms. Klinefelter, who has authored two books on the Civil War, is credited with playing a central role in the recent restoration of the Civil War Room, including watching over the Espy Post collection, developing a docent program and public programming to fit in with the Espy Post.

Money for the restoration was provided by Massey Charitable Trust.

In 1911, the Espy Post veterans produced a catalog of the room's holdings that expressed the hope that veterans' descendants would be proud of the assembled relics and would take care of them.

"It is an honor to be working with the library to fulfill that promise to the veterans, and to help deepen understanding of the Civil War and its lasting impact on this country," Ms. Klinefelter said.

Andrew Carnegie Free Library is on Beechwood Avenue.Information: www.carnegiecarnegie.org.

Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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