Near Gettysburg 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.
Location. 39° 50.736′ N, 77° 14.781′ W. Marker is near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in Adams County. Marker is on Buford Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located on
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of 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); Ramseur's Brigade (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gettysburg.
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.
Related markers. list of markers that are related to this marker. First Day Cavalry Battlefield markers, monuments, and tablets
Also see . . .
1. Gettysburg Day One. National Park Service article about the opening phases of the battle. (Submitted on January 17, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Union Cavalry against Confederate Infantry. Synopsis of the morning fighting on July 1. (Submitted on January 17, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on July 17, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 17, 2009, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 961 times since then and 64 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.