The climactic event in America's national epic took place at the small Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. A search for shoes by bare-footed Confederate soldiers led to the biggest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere, and to one of the defining moments in the development of the national character.
On the first day of the battle of Gettysburg, the Union captured the high ground and found good defensive positions. The Confederates inflicted heavy casualties, maintained the initiative, and prevented the full coordination of their opponents.
Tactical deployments made under fire by commanders on the first day at Gettysburg decisively shaped the battle to come, and the final fate of two mighty armies. July 1, 1863 saw the sacrifice of the Union's Iron Brigade to halt the advancing Confederates, the death of John Reynolds, the highest ranking Union officer killed in the war, and the repulse of the Union I and XI Corps. On a day of mixed results, July 1 saw a turning point in the history of the U.S. Cavalry, as Indian fighter John Buford introduced tactics of mobility and dismounted fire that were to become the hallmark of the Union horseman.
-- The most detailed regimental-level account ever written of the crucial first day of the battle of Gettysburg.
-- The result of exhaustive research, including the discovery of previously unknown Confederate archives.
-- A powerful narrative backed up by specially prepared maps and a definitive order of battle.