“Lincoln at Gettysburg” topic at Harrisburg Civil War Round Table on Nov. 20

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“How Lincoln Came to Be ‘Under God’ at Gettysburg” is the topic for the November 20 meeting of the Harrisburg Civil War Round Table. Charles Teague, a seasonal Ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park, will explore how the President, who as younger man was an avowed atheist, inserted the words “under God” into his Gettysburg Address.
During this sesquicentennial of his birth, Lincoln’s profound thoughts continue to intrigue Americans. At various points in his life, he espoused almost every possible point of view on religion. Few people have ever gone through such a dramatic transformation in matters of philosophy and faith as did he. In his mature years Lincoln was circumspect about his deepest thoughts, but intimate acquaintances who closely observed him and listened to him during his presidency witnessed this change. When the evidence is viewed chronologically, a distinct pattern of growing conviction appears.


Chuck Teague holds a Bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College, a Masters from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Law from Cornell University. He is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, lawyer, and pastor, who has served as an interpreter at the Gettysburg battlefield for the past six years. He is past president of the Gettysburg Roundtable and past president of Historic Gettysburg Adams County and has been a presenter on Civil War studies for dozens of military, educational, civic, and historic groups.
The Harrisburg Civil War Round Table meets at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel & Convention Center, Camp Hill, PA, Camp Hill Bypass @ Routes 11&15. An informal reception starts at 6:00 PM, followed by dinner at 6:30. The cost of dinner is $20.00 and reservations must be made by no later than Tuesday, November 17, by calling 717-938-3706. The program begins at 8:00 PM and is free to the public.
Contact Douglas Gibboney, Publicity Chairperson, for further information @ 717-243-1738.

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3 Responses to “Lincoln at Gettysburg” topic at Harrisburg Civil War Round Table on Nov. 20

  1. Paul Ilyes Jr. says:

    Mr. Teague,
    I don’t know if I will be able to be at your above mentioned talk.
    So I have a question on the aethesit part of Mr. Lincoln. Were are you getting this information from? I would like to read it.
    You may also call me @ 717 332-3100

  2. Scott Mingus says:

    From Chuck Teague:
    Let Mr. Iyles know that the same presentation will be given on November 19 in Gettysburg as part of the Dedication Day events. I will be speaking at 4:00 pm at Gettysburg Presbyterian Church (where Lincoln was at the same time in 1863). Perhaps he can make it to that meeting.
    As a young man, Lincoln wrote a manuscript which he referred to as “a little Book of Infidelity.” In that instance, infidelity was not being unfaithful in marriage, but a lack of faith in God.
    There are many acquaintances of his who referenced his views at that time, including his first law partner, John T. Stewart. “He never gave us to understand… that he entertained a belief in the being of God, or in a moral government of the world, much less in the truth of Christianity.” James Harvey Matheny, who assisted Lincoln in his first campaign, acknowledged, “I knew he was an infidel… sometimes Lincoln bordered on Atheism. He went far that way and shocked me.”
    There is no one text which includes the various references to Lincoln’s early rejection of faith, which is one reason I sought to accumulate it all for this program. Even more fascinating is what brought him to a change in heart.

  3. Max Bledstein says:

    Dear Doctor Teague,
    I am a high school student researching the question of Lincoln’s revolving religious views and how they did or did not affect the Gettysburg Address. I am a student of Richard Miller’s, and my class recently attended your lecture at Gettysburg on this topic, although I was unable to make it. I would like to pose a number of questions to you. It would be most helpful if we could speak in person, but a phone interview would be very helpful as well. Please let me know if this might be possible, and when a good time to contact you might be. In addition, if you have the notes from your lecture, that would be a tremendous help as well.
    Thank you in advance for your time and help,
    Max Bledstein, The Beacon School, Twelfth Grade

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