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Does this image show Lincoln at Gettysburg? You decide.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 25th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A Disney animator and amateur historian says he has found another photo of President Lincoln at the Gettysburg Address. He is thought to appear only twice in the Gettysburg images and this claim makes a controversial third. Furthermore, this image would cast doubt on the interpretation of other images.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It's like Where's Waldo for Civil War and history buffs, but a blurred portion of an image taken at the Gettysburg address may include President Lincoln moments before he delivered his short, but impactful speech at the dedication of the cemetery there.

Lincoln travelled to Gettysburg to participate in the dedication of a cemetery at Gettysburg. Just weeks before two of the greatest armies in North American history marched and clashed in an epic three-day struggle. That battle was part of a carefully planned campaign intended to clench support for the fledgling Confederacy by threatening the Union capital and forcing the Army of the Potomac into smashing itself against Lee's courageous divisions.

Instead, under the new leadership of General George Meade and with the able subordinates in blue, the Army of the Potomac made a heroic stand on the rolling hills outside Gettysburg town, against the increasingly desperate Army of Northern Virginia led by General Robert E. Lee.

Although the Civil War would continue for another two years, the battle marked a high point for the Confederacy and a key turning point of the war.

Lincoln chose this moment to deliver one of the most iconic speeches in American history. The Gettysburg Address was short, but poetic and long on symbolism. During the occasion, few images were taken and two were thought to include the president.

Reviewing images of the period is difficult because cameras required long exposure times of several seconds and any motion caused blurring. 

There is now a suspected third apparition of Lincoln in the Gettysburg photos. However, historians vehemently dispute the quality of the claim. Part of the issue is that if the image is accurate, then Lincoln could not have been in the other spots and historians have been wrong all along about Lincoln's location in the images.

In fairness, the image is very unclear. Christopher Oakley, a former Disney animator and professor of history at the University of North Carolina Ashville, discovered the likeness while combing through images of the address. He spent $73 to have the Library of Congress create a high-resolution copy of the image for close examination. He identified a blurry face in the crowd that he thinks is unmistakably Lincoln.

He claims the bone structure of the face is an exact match for the President.

Others are not so sure.

We will allow you to make up your own mind.

Check out the images below.  What's your verdict?

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