Thousands of inkwells have been emptied documenting the Campaign and Battle of Gettysburg. And while nearly all aspects of the campaign have been explored in one form or another, this work attempts to weave the tapestry of the campaign from the viewpoints, activities, and decisions of its participants. From men at the highest levels of command to those on the battle line, all would play a part in the drama which unfolded in Southern Pennsylvania. The persona, character, military bearing, and skill of those who fought the greatest battle ever to occur on the North American continent, would be forged not only during the war, but for some, many years prior to the conflict. This is the opening act of their story.