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    John Buford Autograph Letter Signed "Jno. Buford / BG Vols." Two pages, 5" x 8", September 7, 1863, on letterhead reading, "Headquarters 1st Cavalry Division, Army of the Potomac." Writing this letter as the commanding Brigadier General of Volunteers, Buford informs Lieutenant Colonel C. Ross Smith, Chief of Staff, Cavalry Corps, about a young sergeant's unsuccessful application for a furlough to finish his ordination as "a Minister of the Gospel." Buford, taking an obvious personal interest in the case, directs Colonel Smith to again check with "the Genl and ask his speedy attention." In part as written:

    "Sergt. Spencers application have been returned without receiving the success I had wished for. Thinking there must be some misapprehension in his case I am induced again to request a furlough for him to go home to be ordained a Minister of the Gospel. He volunteered just after graduation at a Theological institution and before his ordination. The ministry was his chosen profession. He entered the service and received the gears & snears of his companions for his religious scrubles [sic] and was for a time unpopular on acct of his conscientious behavior. Since then he has proved himself as brave a soldier as any in the Regt. has deported himself consistently with his professions amid greater temptations than many young men are called upon to undergo, and now has the entire confidence and respect of the whole regiment. . . . Please lay the matter again before the Genl and ask his speedy attention."

    General John Buford participated in several major battles during the Civil War. His role in the Battle of Gettysburg is particularly noteworthy since he chose the location of Gettysburg for battle on June 30 when, knowing that a larger Confederate force was nearby, he rode into the quiet town and seized the highest ground. Following the battle, which occurred just two months before writing this letter, Buford and his men pursued the retreating Confederates as far as Warrenton, Virginia. The Kentuckian died of an illness (likely typhoid) on December 16, 1863, shortly after learning that President Lincoln had promoted him to major general. This letter is on toned paper with blue lines. All text is written by General Buford and is clear and bold. Also included is an image of the general.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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