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Dragoon or Cavalryman, Major General John Buford in the American Civil War

Dragoon or Cavalryman, Major General John Buford in the American Civil War published on

Authored by Army Command and General Staff College

General John Buford. Buford, a 1848 graduate of the United States Military
Academy, began his Army career on America’s frontier with the First United
States Dragoons. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Buford was selected to
command a cavalry brigade in John Pope’s Army of Virginia, and participated
in the Second Manassas Campaign. Buford went on to make significant
contributions to the Union efforts in the Eastern Theater; however, history
has generally portrayed Buford as a one-dimensional character based on his
stand along McPherson and Seminary Ridges on the first day of the Battle of
Gettysburg. Several historians have presumed that the dismounted cavalry (or
Dragoon) tactics used by Buford at Gettysburg were the culmination of a
method of fighting which he helped develop and propagate within the Union

However, this thesis shows that contrary to this Dragoon image, Buford was in
fact a remarkable cavalry officer. His battlefield tactics were fairly
traditional, but it was not in pitched battles that Buford excelled. His
significant contributions were in the established roles of cavalry; performing
reconnaissance and providing security for the army he was supporting.

Publication Date:
Apr 12 2014
1499110723 / 9781499110722
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / United States / Civil War


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