On this day, July 1st, in 1863, the battle of Gettysburg began as a meeting engagement.
Confederate General Robert E. Lee had invaded the north and had moved into Pennsylvania. The Union Army followed, trying to stay between Lee and Washington D.C. Sometime on June 29 or 30, a spy reported that the Union Army was much closer to Lee than he had imagined. Lee ordered his forces to converge on a little crossroads at a hamlet called Gettysburg. On the morning of July 1, 1863, John Buford's cavalry surprised Confederate General Harry Heth as he tried to move into the crossroads, seeking shoes for his troops.
The battle of Gettysburg was joined.