Gettysburg Address of Abraham Lincoln Rhetorical Analysis

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The Civil War was a long, hard-fought war that was expected to only last a few months, the soldiers were supposed to be home by Christmas. Instead, the war lasted four years, and during the second half of the war, morale was desperately low.

As the Civil War Camp Life article tells us, the soldiers weren’t fighting in battle one hundred percent of the time, more than half of the soldier’s life was spent traveling or camping out someplace to wait out the winter. Camping life during the war was rough, with the enlisted men only able to carry the essentials or what they could carry on their back and sleeping in small two-person tents on a blanket on the hard ground. Already this created a disparage between the enlisted men and the officers. The officers sometimes got furniture, a cot, and a trunk to carry their belongings in. Of course, this disparage came with rank, the army couldn’t give every single man under its control a trunk and a cot, that was reserved for the higher-ups, but this still was a clear distinction between officers and enlisted men. Then there were the things the soldiers did to keep themselves from getting bored. They would play games, poker, or dominos to pass the time, they would gamble and drink together, giving the soldiers a sense of normalcy. This would create a sense of comradery between the soldiers. After all, it’s a bunch of men stuck in one place for weeks, possibly even months at a time, after a while, you start to get to know each other. The most common pastime however was writing letters to loved ones and friends back home. This gave the soldiers some comfort and boosted morale a little for them to be able to write home. The letters were honest and true to the heart, they wrote about how they loved their wife, missed their child or complained about how cold it was, how hard it was being a soldier. This gave them a chance to relax a little and let their feelings out to someone who would likely write back.

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The Gettysburg address of Abraham Lincoln rhetorical analysis, like the letters home, was meant to inspire hope and boost morale in the soldiers. Lincoln opens his speech talking about the founding fathers, saying how they created this great nation that the soldiers are now fighting for. He’s saying that the founders created this country so all men could be equal, that’s what the north is fighting for. In the very opening of his speech, he tells his soldiers what they’re fighting for to inspire them. He talks about the great battlefield that is the war, how America is that great battlefield, and how the soldiers have made it consecrated. The living and the dead have made America. He tells the soldiers how that history may not remember their names but says it will remember their actions. He says this to tell them that there is no personal glory in this war, that history will remember them through what they did, and they shouldn’t be fighting in this war for personal glory, but the betterment of America. He tells his audience that those that have died will not have died in vain, that they will be remembered, and their sacrifice will be remembered. He gives his audience hope in the future of the war, that there is no personal glory in battle, but they should fight for freedom and the betterment of Americans everywhere.

Lincoln and his “Team of Rivals” was yet another way Lincoln sought to unify the nation that he was now in charge of. Lincoln started by hiring three different spectrums of his country: conservative, moderate, and radical. He hired these three men- who fought constantly and were political rivals of his- to try and keep those three ideologies of his country together. Lincoln’s whole plan was reunification between the north and the south, what better way of doing that than to give the different political ideologies of his country a voice. He was able to unify his three rivals through emancipation, showing them that by allowing slaves into the soldier camps and giving them protection, it didn’t start any more wars or race riots, as many conservatives thought it would, as well as he showed them how emancipation was a step in the direction of unifying the country, not splitting it.

The Civil War was a hard-fought, four-year war that had many deserting and feeling downtrodden through the ordeal. Through Lincoln’s words, according to the Gettysburg address of Abraham Lincoln rhetorical analysis of his speeches, the war was won through his leadership and the bravery of the soldiers who fought in the battles. Morale was hard to come by during the war, but the soldiers made it through by writing letters that we now read and listening to Lincoln’s inspiring words, and watching his inspiring actions. Those motivations were what ultimately got everyone through the long war.  

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