by William Holt
150 years ago, 160,000 Union and Confederate troops descended on the small town of Gettysburg, Pa., in deadliest confrontation of the American Civil War. Fought between July 1 and July 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg claimed the lives of more than 3,000 Union soldiers and almost 5,000 Confederates. The total number of casualties from the battle is estimated to range from 46,000 to 51,000, with major fighting dragged over three hot, grueling days. The Battle of Gettysburg was only the midpoint of the bloodiest war ever fought on American soil: the Confederacy would not surrender for another two years.
These photographs were taken in July, 1863, and are part of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division collection.