In June, 1863, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, with over 75,000 soldiers under General Robert E. Lee, crossed into Pennsylvania aiming to strike a crippling blow to Union forces. Lee hoped that a successful attack would end English and French neutrality and turn Northern opinion in favor of a negotiated peace. The Union Army of the Potomac, recently placed under Major General George Meade, was in pursuit with more than 88,000 soldiers. These two great armies met at Gettysburg.
On July 1, the most famous battle of the Civil War was waged. Three days later, the fighting was over. More than 6,000 lay dead and 45,000 were wounded or missing. The Union had come out as the victor.
These artifacts are a part of Smithsonian Books' fall release Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection