The opening engagement of the battle of Gettysburg was crucial in determining the outcome of the battle three days later. In what is often seen as the Civil War’s Waterloo, the early contest for the wooded McPherson’s Ridge is considered by many to be the battle’s most crucial stage. Da Capo’s new “Battleground America” series offers a unique approach to the battles and battlefields of America. Each book in the series highlights a small American battlefield-sometimes a small portion of a much larger battlefield-and tells the story of the brave soldiers who fought there. Using soldiers’ memoirs, letters and diaries, as well as contemporary illustrations, the human ordeal of battle comes to life on the page. All of the units, important individuals, and actions of each engagement on the battlefield are described in a clear and concise narrative. Detailed maps complement the text and illustrate small unit action at each stage of the battle. Then-and-now photographs tie the dramatic events of the past to the modern battlefield site and highlight the importance of terrain in battle. The present-day historical site of the battle is described in detail with suggestions for touring.