On this day 150 years ago, July 1, 1863, the battle intensified throughout the day as corps after corps of Confederate troops poured into the area north and northwest of the town as they took on a cavalry division led by Union General John Buford; soon to be reinforced by two Union infantry corps. Such battle landmarks as the Railroad Cut and McPherson's Woods became famous on this day.
As the day wore on, the Union troops began to lose ground, and in the late afternoon, were forced to retreat
through the town of Gettysburg and take up defensive positions south of the town. The Union army anchored the right of their line on Culp's Hill, then the line extended just over two miles along Cemetery Ridge to the base of a small hill called Little Round Top. The Confederates under General Lee took up a position along Seminary Ridge, which paralleled Cemetery Ridge about a mile to the west.
During the evening and throughout the night, thousands Union and Confederate soldiers converged on the ground south of Gettysburg as they prepared for what they knew would be a huge fight the next day.