General Buford

Chapter 4 – This poem is about Union General Buford coming into Gettysburg with his cavalry. From Cemetery Hill he spots Confederate troops. He warns General John Reynolds and tells him he has found good high ground.

by Christopher Rudolph © 2015

General Buford General Buford Monument, Gettysburg, PA.

Chapter 4 – General Buford

It was June 30th

Sometime around noon

From Northwest down Cashtown Road (Chambersburg Pike now U.S. 30)

Came the first Rebel platoon


Looking for supplies

Especially shoes

Entered Rebels from the brigade

Of General Pettigrew


Into town of Gettysburg

Hitching posts, church steeple

Streets deserted

White houses hiding people


From the Cumberland Valley

On a road winding gray

Up from the South

Came a blue blur blaze


They wound around the last bend

And the Rebels then did see

Tall General John Buford

Leading his Union cavalry


Up a hill they went

Cemetery on top

He looked across the town

Rebel infantry he did spot


Jammed along a road

Near a red brick Seminary

“Was it just a raiding party?

Where was their cavalry?”


Very strange he thought

They would roam so blind

Where was J.E.B. Stuart?

It was he they needed to find


Buford sensed the convergence

Of a mighty Confederate force

Turning away from Harrisburg

Changing course


His scouts confirmed

For they did see

The entire Rebel Army

Of Robert E. Lee


Heading to Gettysburg

To meet the Union blue

Clash of armies

Tomorrow would ensue


Buford’s small force

Stood now between

Rebels and hills

South of town so green


He must secure the high ground

Advantages tactical it would afford

Cannons bursting blasting

Over low ground they would lord


The Rebs saw the Yanks

And retreated several miles back

But Buford knew for sure

At dawn they would attack


So a message he did send

To General Reynolds ten miles away

To gather his three corps fast

And quickly head this way


Reynolds confirmed

And wrote “Hold Your Ground”

Buford’s men dug in

For good high ground indeed was found


Surrounding the town

Formidable defensive locations

Seminary and Cemetery Ridges

A formidable formation


They setup their camps

On this good fighting ground

At dawn they’d soon hear

Rebel yells resound


Buford himself camped

At the Lutheran Seminary

For he wanted a spot to view

Advancing rebel military


Early in the morning

He would climb the Cupola to see

The first fierce fighting Rebels

Of Robert E. Lee


Go to Chapter 5

What do you think of this poem?