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Brig. General John Buford was a brilliant man and a hardened veteran. Upon arriving in Gettysburg on June 30, 1863 he and his men spied the advance column of confederate troops under the command of Johnston Pettigrew. He rode through the town, up the Emmitsburg Road, and out Washing Street. When he reached what is now called Seminary Ridge, he realized the importance of the surround area. He vied to hold it, at all costs. He set up advance skirmish lines, under Col. William Gamble on distant Herr Ridge. These men were in charge of alerting the main line of a confederate advance. The main defensive line itself was placed upon what is now called McPherson's Ridge, although then it did not have such a name. In the early morning hours of July 1st, 1863 as the confederates under Brig. Gen. Henry Heth marched down the Chambersburg Pike, a single shot rang out. Lt. Marcellus E. Jones of the 8th Illinois Cavalry had borrowed a carbine from Levi S. Schaffer and fired a shot, the Battle of Gettysburg had begun. All in all, what John Buford did to make the Battle of Gettysburg occur when it did, was the fact that he decided to hold the ground at all costs.


A very nice answer, and I commend you for even knowing about Herr Ridge, a name omitted in many history books. Just to add to what you said, Buford also sent word to Reynolds to come up quickly to support him, which Reynolds did. So, it was Buford's delaying action plus his quick message to Reynolds that made the clash between the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac happen at Gettysburg.

Great detail but I believe that Buford's important service was to enable the Union Army gain the important high ground. Reynolds was the first Corps commander to arrive and he relieved Buford and his troopers. Of course Reynolds was killed almost immediately by a Confederate sniper. The hills were starting on the left flank Little and Big Round Top, Cemetery ridge and the bloody Culp's Hill where we all know that the son of the owner of the Culp Farm son was with the Confederates at Culp's Hill and was killed on his own land.

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โˆ™ 2010-08-19 21:37:21
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Q: What did John Buford do to make the Battle of Gettysburg take place?
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Related questions

Which side did General John Buford fight on in the Battle of Gettysburg?

He was a Union cavalry general.

Who commanded the Union forces first battle with the Confederate troops at Gettysburg?

General John Buford.

What calvary officer fought Henry Heth in the battle of Gettysburg fight?

Brig. Gen. John Buford

What 2 battles was General John Buford in?

Second Bull Run and Gettysburg.

Who made the first gun fire in the battle of Gettysburg?

General Heth's men went into the town searching for shoes, and brushed into Union cavalry under John Buford.

What Federal Cavalry officer engaged men commanded by Gen Henry Heath in 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg?

I would say it was Jeb Stuart False, Jeb Stuart was the Southern Cavalry Officer involved in Gettysburg. The answer is John Buford.

When was John Buford born?

John Buford was born on March 4, 1826.

What is John Buford's birthday?

John Buford was born on March 4, 1826.

When did John Buford die?

John Buford died on 1863-12-16.

Did the union attack first in the Battle of Gettysburg?

No. Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. John Buford had established defensive positions on three ridges to the west of the town, after which Maj. Gen. Henry Heth sent two brigades of the Army of Northern Virginia forward as a reconnaissance, meeting resistance from Buford's cavalry.

What Federal Cavalry officer engaged men commanded by Henry Heath on July 1 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg?

Brigadier General John Buford and his cavalry held up Henry Heth on the Chambersburg Pike early on July 1, the first day of the battle.

Which general died with the highest rank at Gettysburg?

At the battle of Gettysburg, I think it was John Reynolds or John Bufford. I know his first name was John though. signed-unknown

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