submitted by Sandra Meligakes on 21.05.2006
Nicholas A. Meligakes, Author of The Spirit of Gettysburg, 1950
The Spirit of Gettysburg
"There is no recorded parallel in history where the result of three days' achievements on one side, or the strategic
blunders on the other, were factors in creating a united nation as they were on the first three days of July, 1863, at Gettysburg.
Four score and seven years have elapsed since the Battle of Gettysburg, and a century and a half since our pioneering forefathers founded Adams County and Gettysburg. To them we pay a tribute in this book.
The object is to present Gettysburg from a different point of view-one thus far not emphasized. We follow its growth from
the time of the Indians to the time when there arose a little Southern Pennsylvania town.
The reasons for compiling this volume are the questions that puzzled an immigrant boy who came to the shores of this great
country in 1914. The lad left the island of Kythera, surrounded by the blue waters
of the Mediterranean, Greece, when just past his middle teens. He was permitted to enter this country without question except for his own welfare. He, like any other immigrant of the nineteenth and
twentieth century, was no different from those who have poured into this land since Columbus discovered America.
He, like all his fellow countrymen, was accepted as a citizen, was free to vote, and enjoyed liberty.
Many of the immigrants, after rambling over the country, found a place to call home. Our traveler chose Gettysburg. He was welcomed to Gettysburg. Within a few years, the country honored him with a certificate of American citizenship. He values it above all else.
When that young man entered America he had no knowledge of its splendid history.
Once settled in the pursuit of his daily trade in serving the public
in Gettysburg, he was often puzzled by questions asked by visitors to the community. Questions about Gettysburg, Lincoln, the War Between the States. What is there to see? Is it worthwhile
spending any time to learn about it? How big is the battlefield?
And many more.
Before he could intelligently answer such questions, it was necessary for him to first acquaint himself with the facts. He was told that at Gettysburg the North defeated the South. He learned that the Northern and Southern soldiers were from the same country, yet they had made war against one another. He was told
that Mr. Lincoln was one of the greatest presidents the country ever had, yet he had been assassinated! The more the young man learned about the actual events, the more bewildered he became.
It was pointed out to him that here, at Gettysburg, the Southern Army was defeated and yet the war had continued for nearly two more years. All this was most confusing!
As a result, the immigrant set himself the task of ascertaining just what had happened at Gettysburg. It was not an easy task. He could not secure a single volume that interpreted Gettysburg and
its meaning as he had begun to see it.
So interesting were the events that he could not help but feel there must be others like him who would be eager to learn about Gettysburg, its historical background and the part it played in
the cementing of this nation into "one." This book is his story.
Let him speak!
Bookmart, The Publisher.
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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