The July 1 - 3, 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was one of the bloodiest of the Civil War.
The reburial of Union soldiers from the Gettysburg Battlefield graves began on October 17. The committee for the November 19 Consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg invited President Lincoln to give a few remarks: "It is the desire that, after the Oration, you, as Chief Executive of the nation, formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks."[6
During the train trip from Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg on November 18, Lincoln remarked to John Hay, his assitant secretary, that he felt weak. On the morning of November 19, Lincoln mentioned to John Nicolay that he was dizzy. In the railroad car the President rode with his secretary, John G. Nicolay, John Hay, the three members of his Cabinet who accompanied him, William Seward, John Usher and Montgomery Blair, several foreign officials and others.