Most of the bodies were buried where they fell. The Confederate dead generally were buried together in large, shallow graves. Union troops who fell were buried in separate graves all over the battlefield.
A few weeks after the battle, the governor of Pennsylvania visited Gettysburg. As he walked over the battlefield, he saw where rains had washed away the earth covering many of the fallen soldiers. He said men who died so bravely should have a better resting place than that.
The governor said a new cemetery should be built for the bodies of the Union soldiers. He asked the governors of other northern states to help raise money for the cemetery.
Within a month, there was money enough to buy a large area of the battlefield for a military cemetery. Work began almost immediately. The human remains were moved from other places on the battlefield and put into graves in the new cemetery. The governor planned a ceremony in November, eighteen sixty-three, to dedicate the Gettysburg cemetery.
He invited governors and congressmen from each state in the Union. He asked a former senator and governor of Massachusetts, Edward Everett, to give the dedication speech.