Cumberland Township in Adams County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Cavalry Buys Time
July 1, 1863 - First Day
Brig. Gen. John Buford, U.S.A.
Cavalry Corps, 1st Division
Cavalry soldiers traditionally fought on horseback, but by 1863 they were also fighting on foot. Although the infantryman's rifle-musket was more deadly at long range than the cavalryman's carbine, dismounted cavalry could effectively harass and delay foot soldiers.
Along this ridge (to your left and right), the Union cavalry of Brig. Gen. John Buford's Division held off the attacking Confederate infantry of Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Davis on the morning of July 1. When the pressure became too great, the troopers fell back to the ridge in front of you.
General Buford's cavalry slowed the attacking Confederates for two critical hours, time enough for the Union infantry to arrive on the battlefield.
Erected by Gettysburg National Military Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is July 1, 1848.
Location. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Gettysburg PA 17325, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. A Useless Slaughter (here, next to this marker); 9th New York Cavalry (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Brigade (within shouting distance of this marker); 6th New York Cavalry (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry (about 700 feet away); Second Army Corps (approx. 0.2 miles away); 3rd West Virginia Cavalry (approx. 0.2 miles away); O'Neal's Brigade (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland Township.
More about this marker. On the upper center and right is painting captioned: Brig. Gen. John Buford and his Union cavalry take a stand on this ridge against Confederate infantry attacking from the west (behind you). Every fourth trooper held horses behind the line. Painting by Dale Gallon.
Below the painting is a wartime photograph of Troopers of the 3rd Indiana Cavalry about one year after the battle. Some of these men are survivors of the fight on this ridge. Typically, cavalry suffered fewer casualties than infantry.
This marker was replaced by a new one named "A Useless Slaughter" (see nearby markers).
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. First Day Cavalry Battlefield markers, monuments, and tablets
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 17, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,121 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 17, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 17, 2016, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 7. submitted on January 17, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 8. submitted on August 28, 2015, by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. 9, 10. submitted on January 17, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.