Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BUFORD, Napoleon Bonaparte, soldier, born in Woodford County, Kentucky, 13 January, 1807; died 28 March, 1883. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1827, and employed as a lieutenant of artillery in various surveys. In 1831 he obtained leave to enter Harvard law-school, and in 1834-'5 was assistant professor of natural and experimental philosophy at West Point. On 31 December, 1835, he resigned his commission, and became resident engineer of the Licking River improvement, in the service of the state of Kentucky, and afterward an iron-founder and banker at Rock Island, Illinois, and in 1857 president of the Rock Island and Peoria railroad. On 10 August, 1861, he entered the national army as colonel of the 27th Illinois volunteers, took part in the battle of Belmont, Missouri, 7 November, 1861, was in command at Columbus, Kentucky, after its evacuation by the confederates in March, 1862, and in the attack on Island No. 10, captured Union City by surprise after a forced march, commanded the garrison at Island No. 10 after the capitulation of the fort, and was engaged in the expedition to Fort Pillow in April, 1862. He was promoted brigadier-general on 15 April, 1862, took part in the siege of Corinth, commanded a division at Jacinto from June till September, 1862, was engaged at the battle of Corinth on 3 and 4 October, 1862, and in the siege of Vicksburg in 1863, and was in command of Cairo, Illinois, from March till September, 1863, and at Helena, Ark., from 12 September, 1863, till 9 March, 1865. He was brevetted major general of volunteers on 13 March, 1865, and mustered out of the service on 24 August, 1865. He was special United States commissioner of Indian affairs from 7 February till 1 September, 1868, and for inspecting the Union Pacific railroad from 1 September, 1867, till 10 March, 1869, when the.road was completed.
--His half-brother, John, soldier, born in Kentucky in 1825; died in Washington, District of Columbia, 16 December, 1863, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1848; was appointed brevet second lieutenant in the 1st dragoons and served on the plains, being engaged in the Sioux expedition of 1855, at Blue Water, in the Kansas disturbances of 1856-'7, and in the Utah expedition of 1857-'8 until the civil war began; he was made a major in the inspector-general's corps on 12 November, 1861. His duties did not give him an opportunity to engage in the campaigns until 1862, when he was attached to the staff of General Pope in the Army of Virginia on 26 June, and on 27 July made a brigadier-general, assigned to the command of a brigade of cavalry under General Hooker in the northern Virginia campaign, and engaged at the skirmish at Madison Court-House, 9 August, the passage of the Rapidan in pursuit of Jackson's force, 12 August, Kelly's Ford, Thoroughfare Gap, 28 August, and Manassas, 29 and 30 August, where he was wounded. He served as chief of cavalry of the Army of the Potomac in the Maryland campaign, being engaged at South Mountain, 14 September, 1862, at Antietam, 17 September, where he succeeded General Stoneman on General McClellan's staff, and in the march to Falmouth. When the cavalry organization of the Army of the Potomac was perfected, of which General Stoneman was at that time the chief, General Buford was assigned to command the reserve cavalry brigade. He was subsequently conspicuous in almost every cavalry engagement, being at Fredericksburg, 13 December, 1862, in Stoneman's raid toward Richmond in the beginning of May, 1863, and at Beverly Ford, 9 June, 1863. He commanded the cavalry division of the Army of the Potomac in the Pennsylvania campaign, was engaged at Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, and at Gettysburg he began the attack on the enemy before the arrival of Reynolds on 1 July, and the next day rendered important services both at Wolf's Hill and Round Top. He participated in the pursuit of the enemy to Warrenton, and in the subsequent operations in Virginia, being engaged at Culpepper, and, after pursuing the enemy across the Rapidan, cut his way to rejoin the army north of the Rappahannock. A short time previous to his death he was assigned to the command of the cavalry in the Army of the Cumberland, and had left the Army of the Potomac for that purpose. His last sickness was the result of toil and exposure. His commission as major general reached him on the day of his death.
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