The battle actually begins in Chapter 2 when the Confederates attack Buford’s two cavalry brigades, who have dismounted and are fighting on foot. Buford’s troops are to the west of Gettysburg, blocking all the hills, including Seminary Ridge. Here, history provides Shaara with some high drama: General Reynolds was indeed killed by a sniper almost immediately after arriving with his men in Gettysburg. The loss of Reynolds robbed the Union forces of one of their best officers. Fortunately, Reynolds had ordered his troops into position before being shot, and the Union forces succeeded in preventing the Confederates from capturing the high ground.