Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 at a ceremony dedicating the battlefield. The Battle of Gettysburg took place four months earlier, from July 1 to July 3, 1863. In one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, Union forces under General George Meade turned back the Confederate army. General Robert E. Lee gave up his northern assault and retreated to Virginia. Gettysburg was the final turning point of the war.