John Buford – December 16, 1863

150 years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln promoted John Buford to Major General.

Just before 2 p.m., Buford gave his last command. “Put guards on all the roads, and don’t let the men run to the rear.”  Shortly after, the hero of Gettysburg passed away.

2 thoughts on “John Buford – December 16, 1863

  1. Termed “the peerless one” by an officer, General John Buford was the grandson of Simeon Buford, born in Culpeper County, VA in 1756. Simeon Buford was an officer in the Culpeper Minutemen, whose coiled flag proclaimed, “Don’t Tread on Me,” which warning offers a pretty good description of John Buford’s battle philosophy.

    Now think for a second about this delicious bit of historical irony: On the morning of June 9, 1863, General Buford led the “Right Wing” of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac down to Beverly’s Ford on the Rappahannock River. At 4:30 that same morning, Buford ordered his cavalry force to charge across the river into Culpeper County, and with vigor, they proceed to do so–thereby inaugurating the Gettysburg Campaign, while concurrently opening the Battle of Brandy Station.

    Did John Buford know he was assaulting his family’s ancestral ground in Culpeper County? We don’t know the answer, but I strongly suspect he did.
    Would it have made any difference to General Buford if he had known Simeon Buford’s gravesite was but ten miles distant from Beverly’s Ford.

    No, it would not make any difference to John Buford at all. The Confederates were his country’s enemy, and that was good enough for him. There was, after all, a battle to fight, and Culpeper County was as good a place as any to kill some Rebels.

    Rest in peace, John Buford..

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