Osprey's study of the Battle of Gettysburg (1863), one of the decisive battles of the American Civil War (1861-1865). The Confederate invasion of the Northern states was General Lee's last great gamble. By taking the war to the Union he hoped to force Lincoln into peace negotiations, or win support from the European powers who were watching events closely from across the Atlantic. Equally, Meade's Army of the Potomac needed to regain it's fighting credibility after the setbacks of Fredericksburg and saw this as an opportunity to redeem its honour. The clash of 150,000 soldiers from both sides would ultimately decide the fate of a nation.