Abraham Buford (Sometimes spelled Beauford) was born to a well to do family in Culpeper County, Virginia, in 1749. By the time of the American Revolution, he was in his mid-twenties and had yet to solidify himself in one particular calling. At the outbreak of hostilities he formed a militia company in Culpeper and saw action along the Virginia coast before obtaining a position in the Virginia Line of the Continental Army. With Washington’s Army he served in the 14th, 5th, and 11th Virginia Regiments during the battles around Philadelphia and in New Jersey. In 1779, Buford, now a colonel, was placed in command of the 3rd Virginia Detachment, part of the 2nd Virginia Brigade. In 1780 he took his detachments south in order to reinforce Charleston, South Carolina, then under siege by the British. The column failed to arrive in time and turned back north. They were attacked by a column of British and Loyalist Forces in an area called the Waxhaws on May 29th. There Buford’s force was decisively defeated and suffered heavy casualties. Buford managed to get away on horseback. For the rest of the war, Buford was used by the Americans as a propaganda tool to show the cruelty of the British and Loyalists who were reported as having cut down Buford’s men as they tried to surrender. Buford did not again obtain a field command. After the war, Buford started a family and moved to Kentucky to survey. His descendants include at least three Civil War generals, including John Buford of Gettysburg fame.
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