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MAJOR GENERAL JOHN BUFORD - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 12/14/1861 - HFSID 306812

GENERAL JOHN BUFORD The Union cavalry commander, whose decision to "hold the high ground" on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg may have saved the Union, prepares to inspect the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry in the first year of the war. Double-matted and framed with a biographic plaque to an overall size of 20½x22½.

Sale Price $15,300.00

Reg. $18,000.00

Condition: fine condition
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GENERAL JOHN BUFORD
The Union cavalry commander, whose decision to "hold the high ground" on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg may have saved the Union, prepares to inspect the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry in the first year of the war. Double-matted and framed with a biographic plaque to an overall size of 20½x22½. Buford died less than five months after Gettysburg. A very scarce war-dated document!
Autograph Letter signed: "Jno Buford/Asst. Insp. Gen, USA", 1 page (lightly lined), 5x8. Louisville, Kentucky, 1861 December 14. To Colonel Edward C. Williams, 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry, in full: "I am instructed by the Genl-in-Chief to inspect the troops of the Dept. of the Ohio. Please have your Regt. In line of battle by 1 o'clock P. M. on Monday. The inspection will be conducted as prescribed by the Army Regulation. The men equipped as for the field." Matted and framed with a portrait of Buford and a biographical plaque to an overall size of 20½x22½. John Buford (1826-1863) a West Pointer (1848), served on the Western frontier and in the troubled territories of Utah and Kansas before becoming Assistant Inspector General of the Union Army in November 1861. (Buford, the son of a Kentucky slave owner, stayed loyal to the Union, as did his half-brother, Major General Napoleon Buford. His cousin, Abraham Buford, became a Confederate brigadier general and cavalry commander.) Buford led cavalry skillfully at Second Bull Run (July 1862), lightly wounded in the lost battle. Reassigned to staff duties under a succession of Union commanders, he finally secured field command again, seeing action at Brandy Station and Upperville. Buford's climactic moment came on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg (June 30, 1863). His two cavalry brigades were first on the battlefield, and he determinedly formed a skirmish line which held off greatly superior Confederate infantry long enough for General Reynolds' I Corps to reach the battle. This held the high ground for the Union, and probably decided the battle and possibly even the war. (Buford is portrayed by Sam Elliott in the movie Gettysburg (1993), based on Michael Shaara's novel The Killer Angels, shown in one scene writing a military letter just as the real Buford wrote this one.) Buford saw more action, but contracted typhoid fever and died on December 16, 1863, at age 37. He was promoted to Major General on his death bed by President Lincoln. The Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment would compile a very impressive war record, tangling - more often than not successfully - with Confederate cavalry led by Generals Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joseph Wheeler and John Hunt Morgan. An area of mild damp staining to lower portion, affecting part of signature but in no way affecting legibility. Otherwise, fine condition. Not framed in the Gallery of History style.

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