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Gettysburg Address Hooey Locust: On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to dedicate a new Soldiers’ National Cemetery for the men who had perished in the Union army’s decisive victory over the Confederacy four and a half months earlier. He stood near a honey locust tree while he delivered his speech, which lasted just over two minutes. The tree, rooted on Cemetery Hill on the right side of the Union line, was a silent witness to the awful three-day battle. Gettysburg once was full of witness trees in 1863, but today only the honey locust tree and a few other witness trees remain. The others fell victim to storms, disease, insects, and old age. The honey locust itself suffered severe damage in a 2008 storm and only 20 percent remains intact—poor odds for survival.