any interference or supervision from Washington
; that being denied, he was asked who ought to have the command, and said that Meade
was the man, and it was to his persuasion and the promise of his aid, that Meade
He was with Meade
when the order assigning Meade
to the command of the Army of the Potomac came, and during the brief hours of that summer night he aided Meade
in working out the plan which ended in Gettysburg
It was characteristic of the man that from that momentous interview, he rushed to the front and swooped down on a poor German cavalry general, safely ensconced in a Maryland border village, sending in as dispatches from his scouts and his own observations reports made up of the rumors published in the newspapers.
The poor German
was soon sent to the rear, never more to be heard of, and a trusty soldier put in his place, while Reynolds
hurried on to concentrate his forces and secure the combined strength of the Army of the Potomac for the great struggle that was at hand.
thoroughly, and knowing him and the value of cavalry under such a leader, sent them through the mountain passes beyond Gettysburg
to find and feel the enemy.
The old rule would have been to keep them back near the infantry, but Reynolds
on, and Buford
went on, knowing that wherever Reynolds
sent him, he was sure to be supported, followed, and secure.
It was Buford
who first attracted Reynolds
' attention to the concentration of roads that gave Gettysburg
its strategic importance, and it was Reynolds
who first appreciated the strength and value of Cemetery Hill
, and the plateau between that point and Round Top
, as the stronghold to be secured for the concentration of the scattered corps and as the place where Meade
could put his army to meet and overthrow the larger body he was pursuing.
Together they found Gettysburg
and made it the spot upon which the Union
forces won a victory that was bought with his among the precious lives lost there.
were soldiers of the same order, and each found in the other just the qualities that were most needed to perfect and complete the task intrusted to them.
The brilliant achievement of Buford
, with his small body of cavalry, up to that time hardly appreciated as to the right use to be made of them, is but too little considered in the history of the battle of Gettysburg
It was his foresight and energy, his pluck and self-reliance, in thrusting forward his forces and pushing the enemy, and thus inviting, almost compelling their return, that brought on the engagement of the first of July.
counted on Reynolds
' support, and he had it fully, faithfully,