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John Bufford was one of the key reasons why the Union won


Gettysburg, and only six months after his courageous
fighting he died of pneumonia. John Bufford was born in
Kentucky in 1826 and then moved to Illinois before he was
excepted to West Point. Bufford went to West Point and
graduated in 1848. John Bufford is one of the great leaders
of American history. John Bufford had many years of
experience in the military and helped win one of the
biggest battles in the Civil War, Gettysburg. John Bufford
has had a solid back round in the military. After he
graduated from West Point he saw a little fighting action
when he was along the frontier and on an expedition against
the Mormons in Utah through 1857-1858. He started off as a
captain and then was promoted through the years as Major
General. After Bufford's work in the Washington defenses he
was put on the Pope's staff in the northern Virginia. He
received a brigadier's star and command of a brigade of
cavalry men. He lead his newly cavalry at 2nd Bull Run and
he was wounded. " He cared for the well being of his men,
and the outcome of the battle " ( Foote 297). That next
Spring Bufford had command of the Reserve Brigade, which
was made up of regular army units. With his new command he
took part in Stonman's raid during Chancellorsville
Campaign. He also lead the division at Brandy Station,
Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville. John Bufford would soon
face the biggest challenge in his life, and he would need
all his experience and knowledge from his past to overcome
the challenge. It was two of Buffords brigades that caused
the fighting at Gettysburg northwest of the town. He was
able to hold off the Confederate attack with few men until
the Union came to back them up. This was a very important
move for the Union in the Battle of Gettysburg because it
enabled the Confederate to take the high ground. '" The
whole damn Reb army's going to be here in the morning.
They'll move right through the town and occupy those damned
hills '" (Shaara 38). Bufford was smart enough to see the
Confederates plan and by stopping the Confederates, it let
the Union take the high ground. The high ground later in
the battle proved to be a big key. Even Confederate General
Longstreet said " Cemetery Ridge was essential us " (West
145). By Bufford no letting the Confederates take the hill
he helped not only win the battle but maybe even the whole
war. John Bufford never received any kind of notice for
this key decision and later the next year he died. John
Bufford had proven himself to be a great commander. With
his intelligence in war fair he won many key battles which
made himself a well recognized leader. John Bufford was one
of the dominate leaders in the Civil War. 



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