Top Answer
User Avatar
Wiki User
Answered 2010-08-19 21:37:21

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.

User Avatar

Your Answer


Still Have Questions?

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.

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.

When was John Buford born?

John Buford was born on March 4, 1826.

When did John Buford die?

John Buford died on 1863-12-16.

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

What has the author John Mitchell Vanderslice written?

John Mitchell Vanderslice has written: 'Italian architecture, 1750-1914' 'Gettysburg' -- subject(s): Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863

When did the battle of gettysbrg start?

The battle of Gettysburg took place from July 1-3 in 1863. There was about 51,112 individuals killed during this tragic battle. Eventually the South ended up retreating and had a horrible loss. The battle started when Confederate Brigades moved into the town to take it over. They did not know that the town was already taken by two Union Calvary Brigades that was commanded by General John Buford. The battle started around 8a.m. Eventually the Confedrate Brigades were forced to retreat.

Did anyone important make a name for themselves in the Battle of Gettysburg or die?

Yes. In the battle of Gettysburg Major General John Fulton Reynolds died. It was called "The Great Fall of Reynolds.

What Union general was the first one to die at the Battle of Gettysburg?

The US Civil War Battle of Gettysburg began on the morning of July 1, 1863. That morning the Confederate forces under Major General Henry Heths's approached the town of Gettysburg to find it defended by Pennsylvania militia men. An armed conflict and commenced and by the middle of that morning Union Major General John Reynolds was reinforcing the Union's position which now had cavalry units under the leadership of General John Buford. As General Reynolds was positioning his forces, he received a bullet wound and was killed. He was the first general from either side to die at Gettysburg.

What was the Federal who died on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg?

If your talking about Generals it was John Reynolds.

Who were the leaders for the North of the Battle of Gettysburg?

George G. Meade and John F. Reynolds .

Who is the Buford Dam in Georgia named after?

John Buford Jr. a Civil War officer.

What Union General replaced the fallen General John F Reynolds at the Battle of Gettysburg?

When Union General John Fulton Reynolds was killed on July 1, 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg, he was replaced by General Abner Doubleday. Doubleday had been the commander of the 3rd division.

Who comanded the calvary in the battle of gettsyburg?

union cavalry was under John Buford confederate cavalry was under Jeb Stuart, although they were not present for much of the battle, much to the detriment of the confederates.

Why did they pick to fight at Gettysburg?

Actually Gettysburg wasn't picked at all Pipe Creek was the intended stopping point. Gettysburg just happens to be where Cavalry brigades under John Buford took a defensive action against Confederate Infantry under Henry Heth and Joseph R Davis from the west. while Forces under Jubal Early and John B. Gordon attacked from The North.

Who was the confederate leader who led a daring charge at the battle of Gettysburg?

George Picket, John B. Hood.

What has the author Timothy H Smith written?

Timothy H. Smith has written: 'The Story of Lee's Headquarters, Gettysburg, Pa' 'John Burns' -- subject(s): Biography, Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863

Who was General Reynold and what did he do at the Battle of Gettysburg?

Major General John Fulton Reynolds, the commander of the First Corps of the Army of the Potomac who was killed in the first days battles at Gettysburg.

What federal calvary officer engaged men commanded by General Henry Heth?

When he sent two brigades into Gettysburg in search of shoes, they encountered Union Calvary under Brigadier General John Buford.

What did john Reynolds do in Gettysburg?

what did reynolds do at gettysburg .