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Sunday, June 30, 2013
Gettysburg 150 Years Ago Today Continued
Today June 30, 1863 General John Buford leading the Union Cavalry road into Gettysburg between 11 AM and Noon. Other units both North and South had passed through Gettysburg in the last few days but Buford led the first unit to occupy the town in anticipation of a major battle at that location. He found no Confederate forces and sent out scouting units to locate those close to the town to the north and west. His was the first unit, of the Union Army of the Potomac, of approximate 100,000 marching through Maryland to reach Gettysburg. Buford decided to set up dismounted picket lines to the west of town on the roads coming into town to block and deprive the Confederate army of this strategic intersection. He sent word to General Reynolds of 1st Corps to come quick because Buford's light force of 2800 would only be able to hold off the 75,000 Confederate Army of Virginia for a short period. Buford saw the high ground to the south of town starting at Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill and knew if he could delay the Confederates the Union Army coming up from the South end of town could occupy said heights and be in a much better position to engage Lee and his army. Today the issue was which Army could concentrate more of their spread out soldiers at Gettysburg first. Buford and his men were going to "buy" the Union Army some time!