Brigadier-general john bufordbuford was born in woodford county, kentucky, but was raised in rock island, illinois, from the age of eight. His father was a prominent democratic politician in illinois and a political opponent of abraham lincoln. His family had a long military tradition. John jr.’s grandfather, colonel abraham buford (of the waxhaw massacre) and great uncle served in virginia regiments during the american revolutionary war. His half-brother, napoleon bonaparte buford, would become a major general in the union army. His cousin, abraham buford, would become a cavalry brigadier general in the confederate states army. After attending knox college in galesburg, illinois, for one year, buford was accepted into the class of 1848 at the united states military academy. Buford graduated 16th of 38 cadets and was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the 1st u.S. Dragoons, transferring the next year to the 2nd u.S. Dragoons. He served in texas and the southwest, fought against the sioux, served on peacekeeping duty in bleeding kansas, and in the utah war in 1858. He was stationed at fort crittenden, utah, from 1859 to 1861. He was a student of the works of general john watts de peyster, who was a strong advocate of making the skirmish line the new line of battle.His civil war appointments, were as follows; brigadier general u.S.A. (27th july 1862); commanding cavalry brigade, 2nd division, army of virginia 27th july 12th september 1862) commanding reserve brigade, cavalry corps, army of the potomac (12th february 22nd may 1863); commanding cavalry division, army of the potomac (22nd may 21st november 1863) major general u.S.V. (1st july 1863). Buford is best known for his defense of mcpherson ridge and approaches to gettysburg on the 1st july 1863. However: just before the commencement of the mine run campaign, buford contracted typhoid fever which would lead to his death on 16th december 1863. He was buried at west point military acedemy.