The Battle of Gettysburg took place over the course of the first three days of July in 1863. It was one of the most crucial battles in the entire Civil War, and effectively ended any hopes that the Confederate States of America had of achieving independence.
The Union army was led by Major General George Gordon Meade, while the Confederate army was led by Robert E. Lee. Lee's Confederate army invaded the states of Maryland and Pennsylvania, eventually meeting General Meade's forces near the Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. Approximately 51,000 soldiers from both sides were killed, injured or reported missing following the battle.