The booms of ground-shaking cannon fire Monday marked the start of the Battle of Gettysburg, 150 years after Union and Confederate soldiers fought the defining encounter of the American Civil War.

John Moore, Getty Images

It was after 7 a.m. on July 1, 1863 when federal troops began firing on Confederate infantry advancing up Chambersburg Road on the edge of this small, south-central Pennsylvania town.

On Monday, Civil War buffs and curiosity-seekers deployed to the spot as well, and swarmed other parts of the battlefield to snap pictures and soak in history lessons from eager National Park Service rangers.

More than 200,000 people are expected to visit Gettysburg over a 10-day anniversary period ending July 7. Monday also marked the opening of Gettysburg's newest attraction, the Seminary Ridge Museum.

 

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