The Battle of Gettysburg took place on July 1st through the 3rd in 1863. Gettysburg was, it would seem, a bit of an accident. Lee’s cavalry commander failed in his duties, leaving Lee unaware of the Union’s position. By the time he saw them the only option was to head just west of Gettysburg. When they were entering the town for supplies they ran into Meade’s men at Willoughby Run and the fighting began.