Brigadier General John Buford

John Buford commanded the First Division in Alfred Pleasonton's Cavalry Corps. On 1 July, it was Buford's dismounted cavalry who checked Henry Heth's division of A. P. Hill's III Corps along the Chambersburg Pike, making time for John Reynolds to bring up the I Corps infantry.

On 2 July, what remained of Buford's men were assigned the task of screening the left flank of the Federal lines, in the area just southwest of Big Round Top. Early in the afternoon of 2 July, Buford's division was relieved and assigned to guard the supply wagons in the neighborhood of the Baltimore Pike. For unknown reasons, another cavalry unit did not replace his troops, leaving Dan Sickles' III Corps with both its left and right flanks hanging in the air. It was on the left flank that John B. Hood's division struck Sickles, opening the ground action against the Devil's Den and the Round Tops.

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Photo: Library of Congress
Created 19 AUG 1999; Modified 22 JUL 2014