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Chapter 2 Wednesday, July 1, 1863 Lee began redeploying his army away from Fredericksburg, Virginia, on June 3 and concentrating near Culpepper. One week later he sent Ewell’s Corps into the Shenandoah Valley, and the rest of his army followed shortly thereafter. Winchester was captured on June 14, and the next day the lead units of the army crossed the Potomac River into Maryland. The Gettysburg Campaign was underway. On June 26 the last units of Lee’s army crossed into Maryland while fifty miles downriver the Army of the Potomac did the same. Both armies were now moving northeast on either side of the eighty-mile-long South Mountain. On June 28 Ewell’s Corps was in the vicinity of Carlisle and York, Pennsylvania. The rest of Lee’s army, except for the cavalry, was near Chambersburg. That night Lee received information that the Union army, which he thought might still be south of the Potomac River, was in Maryland and moving north. He immediately ordered his army to concentrate in the Cashtown-Gettysburg area, but not to bring on a general engagement until the army was concentrated. The next day Ewell started his corps south while A. P. Hill began moving his corps east through South Mountain to Cashtown.1 Buford Conducts a Delaying Action Brigadier General John Buford’s decision to control key terrain at Gettysburg with a delaying action and Major General John Reynolds’s decision to move 26 Wednesday, July 1, 1863 forward and reinforce Buford are actually two separate decisions. However, because of the symbiotic relationship between them, theymustbeconsideredtogether. On graduating from West Point in 1848, John Buford was assigned to the Second Dragoons and served with his regiment on the western frontier prior to the Civil War. Promoted to brigadier general in July 1862, he commanded a cavalry brigade during the Second Bull Run Campaign and then was chief of cavalry for the Army of the Potomac during the 1862 Maryland Campaign and at the Battle of Fredericksburg. He then returned to brigade command and shortly thereafter was given command of a cavalry division.2 Buford’s cavalry division was deployed on the Army of the Potomac’s left flank as it moved north into Maryland and toward Pennsylvania. As the army moved, Buford conducted reconnaissance and guard operations. These operations were to accomplish two missions, gain information on the location and movements of Lee’s army and protect Meade from a surprise attack.3 On June 30 John Reynolds, who was the First Corps commander, and Buford met briefly at Emmitsburg. Buford’s division had just come from the vicinity of Fairfield, to the west of Emmitsburg, where it had been in contact with Confederate infantry. Realizing that contact with Lee’s army would probably occur within the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours, these two experienced commanders would not have passed up the opportunity to coordinate what actions they might take when that occurred.4 Departing Emmetsburg, Buford arrived at Gettysburg that afternoon. As Buford’s division approached Gettysburg, the advance guard reported Confederate troops withdrawing west along the Chambersburg Pike. This was a part of Pettigrew’s Brigade that had been sent in advance of Hill’s Corps to gather supplies in Gettysburg and conduct a reconnaissance of the area, a mission normally done by cavalry.5 Brigadier General John Buford. Library of Congress. Wednesday, July 1, 1863 27 Deploying his division in and around Gettysburg, Buford sent out patrols and questioned civilians in the area. By late evening he had developed an accurate estimate as to the locations of the Confederate army and determined it was moving toward Gettysburg from the west and north. In two messages, one written at 10:30 and the other at 10:40 p.m., Buford passed this intelligence to the Cavalry Corps commander and the commander of the nearest infantry, John Reynolds.6 By nightfall, June 30, the Union infantry was in positions from which it could begin to arrive at Buford’s location in two to three hours, or if the situation dictated, Buford could easily fall back to the infantry. Reynolds’s corps had moved to where the Gettysburg-Emmitsburg Road crosses Marsh Creek, and it was only eight miles from Buford. Oliver O. Howard’s Eleventh Corps was at Emmitsburg, thirteen miles from Buford, and Daniel Sickles’s Third Corps was fifteen miles away. All these corps were under Reynolds’s tactical command.7 28 Wednesday, July 1...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781572337886
Related ISBN
9781572337459
MARC Record
OCLC
721194568
Pages
216
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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