This Week in the Civil War - 604

Jul 2, 2013

On July 1, 1863 when Confederate General Henry Heth’s advancing brigades met Union cavalry on the Chambersburg-Gettysburg road four miles outside of Gettysburg, each side committed piecemeal addition units, initiating the Battle of Gettysburg. 

In the afternoon Jubal Early’s Confederates drove the Federals through the village of Gettysburg to Cemetery Hill, southeast of the village.  Federal troops west of the town also were driven back toward Cemetery Hill and Cemetery Ridge.  When Lee arrived in Gettysburg, the Confederates held the town but had not attacked Cemetery Hill, a strategic point on the battlefield held by Union forces. 

That evening more Federal forces, including General George Meade, arrived on the hills around Gettysburg.  The first day of the battle favored the Confederates, but Union forces held the strategic high ground around Gettysburg.