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“ [274] hostile contact. Neither Meade nor Lee had any knowledge of it. . . . Buford, who, when he arrived on the evening of 30th, had guessed at one glance the advantages to be derived from these positions, did not have time to give a description of them to Meade and receive his instructions. The unfailing indications to an officer of so much experience, revealed to Buford the approach of the enemy. Knowing that Reynolds was within supporting distance of him, he boldly resolved to risk everything in order to allow the latter time to reach Gettysburg in advance of the Confederate army. This first inspiration of a cavalry officer and a true soldier decided, in every respect, the fate of the campaign. It was Buford who selected the battlefield where the two armies were about to measure their strength.”

General Wade Hampton1

Wade Hampton entered the military service of the Confederate States as colonel of the Hampton Legion, South Carolina Volunteers, June 12, 1861, said legion consisting of eight companies of infantry, four companies of cavalry, and two companies of artillery. With the infantry of his command, Colonel Hampton participated in the first battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861, where he was wounded. He bore a part as a brigade commander in the subsequent battles on the Peninsula of Virginia, from the beginning of operations at Yorktown until the battle of Seven Pines, where he was again wounded. . . .

I have been often asked if General Hampton was a good tactician. If in a minor, technical sense, I answer to the best of my judgment, “No.” I doubt if he ever read a technical book on tactics. He knew how to maneuver the units of his command so as to occupy for offensive or defensive action the strongest points of the battlefield, and that is about all there

1 Butler and his cavalry, 1861-1865. by U. R. Brooks (Columbia S. C.). the State company, 1909.

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