|Collection||Pearce Civil War Collection|
|Title||Buford (John) Papers, 1863|
|Date||September 16, 1863|
|Dates of Creation||Sept. 16, 1863|
|Scope & Content||
This letter is written on "Headquarters 1st Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac" stationery and dated September 16, 1863, was written to Major General Alfred Pleasonton, commander of the cavalry. The letter describes Buford's actions in an engagement with the Confederate cavalry. After Gettysburg the Union army followed Gen. Robert E. Lee into Virginia where Lee was camped between the Rapidan and Rappahannock Rivers. There were reports in the Union camp that Lee was planning on moving his army farther south; in fact he had sent Gen. James Longstreet's Corps to Charleston, South Carolina and twelve thousand troops to Tennessee. To confirm the rumors Gen. George Meade asked Pleasonton to send out cavalry to probe the enemy's pickets. Pleasonton discovered cavalry had replaced the pickets. Pleasonton sent Brig. Gen. John Buford to engage the enemy cavalry and he did so, pushing them way back to Morton's and Raccoon Fords. Once there, Buford set up defenses and waited for the counter attack that never came. Meade now knew that the Confederates had escaped.
In his letter Buford describes his actions and the retreat of the 4th New York Cavalry. "The two squadron in the rear and under good cover and in easy support ran off and nearly returned to camp without firing a shot or being fired upon." Buford continued to write that he had never trusted the 4th N.Y. under the command of Brig. Gen. David McMurtrie Gregg, especially after the failure at Second Bull Run. Buford intended to ask for the dismissal of all those responsible for the unauthorized retreat, but died before he could do so.
|Finding Aids||Available in the archives or online at www.pearcecollections.us|
Gregg, David McMurtrie
4th New York Cavalry
|Credit line||Pearce Civil War Collection|
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