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A Gettysburg Address quiz: Test yourself

ADVANCE FOR USE TUESDAY, NOV. 19, 2013 AND THEREAFTER - This undated image made available by the Library of Congress shows part of the This undated image made available by the Library of Congress shows part of the “Nicolay Copy” version of the five known drafts of President Abraham Lincoln’s Nov. 19, 1863 speech in Gettysburg, Pa.  (AP Photo/Library of Congress)

If you pay any attention to the news, you know by now that Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, is the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, the magnificent speech that President Abraham Lincoln delivered at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pa., during the Civil War.

Test your knowledge on the address and the events that led to it.




1. True or false: Lincoln composed most of the address on the train en route to Gettysburg, writing it down on the back of an envelope.


2. How many sentences are in the Gettysburg Address?

a) 10
b) 15
c) 23
d) 28


3. Which is true about Lincoln at Gettysburg?
a) Lincoln spoke at the ceremony for a few minutes only after politician Edward Everett delivered a two-hour oration.
b) Lincoln as president was the main speaker at the event and he was followed by Andrew Gregg Curtin, the governor of Pennsylvania, and then William Seward, Lincoln’s secretary of state.
c) Lincoln was the only speaker and he surprised the crowd by making such a short speech.


4.  How many years is “four score and seven,” the words with which Lincoln began his address?

a) 47
b) 67
c) 87
d) 107


5. Lincoln was not feeling well when he delivered his speech and later was sick for weeks. It is believed that he had:

a) measles
b) depression
c) pneumonia
d) smallpox


6. How many soldiers fought collectively in the armies of the North and South during the Battle of Gettysburg?
a) 106,000
b) 157,000
c) 223,000
d) 267,000


7. How many total deaths of soldiers were attributed to Gettysburg?

a) 26,000
b) 36,000
c) 51,000
d) 61,000


8. The ceremony at which Lincoln spoke was held:
a) shortly after the battle was over because officials were concerned that unburied bodies would rot and present a health hazard to the people in the area
b) 4 1/2  months later, when bodies that had been left to rot on the battlefield and only cursorily buried were reburied in a new cemetery.


9. Which is not true about the battle of Gettysburg:
a) It was the final battle of the war
b) George Armstrong Custer fought in the battle
c) Robert E. Lee, the commanding general of the Southern forces believed that his troops were invincible
d) It is said to be a three-day war, fought from July 1 to July 3rd in 1863, but there were minor skirmishes on July 4th.


10. Here is the Gettysburg Address. Fill in the missing words:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in   —(a)—  and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long —-—(b)—. 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 —(c)— might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not 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 —(d)— what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the —(e)— 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 —(f)— 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 —(g)— from the earth.










1. False.  According to Gary Wills in his prize winning Lincoln at Gettysburg, the notion that he wrote the address on an envelope en route to Gettysburg is a “silly be persistent myth.”

2. a) 10 sentences


3.  a) The main speaker was Edward Everett, a highly distinguished and famous politician, diplomat and educator. He was president of Harvard, a member of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, a governor of Massachusetts, minister to Britain and a U.S. secretary of state. Lincoln was, though, sick when he delivered the address and it is believed to be sick with smallpox.


4. c). A score is 20 years, so 87 years.


5. d) Smallpox


6. b) 157,000, according to the U.S. Army.


7. c) 51,000, according to the U.S. Army


8. b)


9. a) It was not the final battle of the war.


10. The words:
a) liberty
b) endure
c) nation
d) forget
e) unfinished
f) devotion
g) perish

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.



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