Jump to: navigation, search

Abraham Buford II

Brigadier General Abraham "Abe" Buford II (January 18, 1820 - June 9, 1884) was a soldier and Thoroughbred horse breeder. Born in Woodford County, Kentucky, his origins were a Huguenot family named Beaufort who fled persecution in France and settled in England before emigrating to America in 1635.

Abraham Buford was the son of Frances W. Kirtley and her husband, William B. Buford (1781–1848). He was named for his great-uncle Abraham who was a Continental Army officer during the American Revolutionary War. His cousins, John and Napoleon Bonaparte Buford, who grew up nearby, were Generals in the Union Army during the American Civil War

Contents

Military career

Commonly known as Abe Buford, he studied at Centre College before entering the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1837. Graduating in 1841, as a second-lieutenant with the First dragoons from 1842 through 1846, he did Frontier duty in the Kansas Territory and the Indiana Territory. He then served in the Mexican–American War in which he was brevetted Captain for bravery at the Battle of Buena Vista. When that war ended, he was dispatched for further duty on the Frontier and in 1848 was part of the Santa Fe Trail expedition. In 1849, Buford escorted the mail from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the east, using, in part, the new Cherokee Trail. He was then sent to the Army's cavalry school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania but in October 1854 he resigned his commission and returned to his native Kentucky where his family owned a farm property near Versailles in his native Woodford County.

Following the outbreak of the American Civil War, in 1862 Buford joined the Confederate States Army. He helped raise and took command of a Kentucky brigade and on September 2, 1862 was commissioned Brigadier General. Among his missions, Buford covered General Braxton Bragg's retreat from Kentucky, was part of the Vicksburg Campaign under General Loring, fought in the Battle of Champion Hill, the Battle of Brice's Crossroads and was wounded in December 24, 1864 at Richland Creek during the Battle of Nashville when he covered Lt. Gen. Hood's retreat following the Confederate Army's loss. In February, 1865, he commanded a cavalry division in Alabama under the command of Lieutenant General Nathan Forrest until the surrender at Selma following Wilson's Raid.

When the war ended in 1865, Brigadier General Buford returned to his farm in Kentucky where he became a leading breeder of Thoroughbreds.

Bosque Bonita Farm

Abe Buford named his Woodford County farm Bosque Bonita ("Beautiful Woods"), a place the New York Times would call the "most princely residence in the Bluegrass region." It was here that slave Billy Walker was born in 1860 and who went on to ride Baden-Baden to victory in the 1877 Kentucky Derby.

Beginning in 1852, the stallion Sovereign stood at stud at Bosque Bonita, developing into an influential sire. The next year, Abe Buford was part of a syndicate with Richard Ten Broeck, Captain Willa Viley and Junius R. Ward, who bought the then three-year-old colt, Lexington. In 1858 Lexington was sold to Robert A. Alexander of Woodburn Stud for $15,000 in 1858, reportedly the then highest price ever paid for an American horse.

Buford also owned, raced, or bred a number of successful horses including Nellie Gray, Enquirer, Crossland, and Versailles. Mannie Gray, whom Thoroughbred Heritage calls "one of the most influential American mares in breeding history," was owned and raced by Buford who sold her to fellow Kentuckian, Major Barak Thomas of Dixiana Farm. In 1866, Leamington's new owner, Canadian Roderick Cameron, sent him to stand at stud at Bosque Bonita for the season. Although Leamington covered just thirteen mares that year, he produced an outstanding crop of foals, including, Anna Mace, Enquirer, Longfellow, Lynchburg, Lyttleton, and Miss Alice.

In 1875, General George Custer came to Bosque Bonita Farm to buy cavalry remounts before the Battle of Little Big Horn. [1]

Later owners

Since Abe Buford's time, Bosque Bonita has been owned by such prominent horsemen as John H. Morris who had trained horses for George J. Long's Bashford Manor Stable for many years and who operated Woodburn Stud on a long-term lease beginning in 1905. [2] John Morris still owned Bosque Bonita in the 1940s.

Fritz Hawn bought Bosque Bonita Farm in the fall of 1977. From Robert A Alexander. Two years later he sold the property to William Stamps Farish III who renamed it Lane's End Farm. Some of the famous horses who stood at the farm in recent times and are buried there include Bally Ache (1957–1960), Sovereign Dancer (1975–1994), and Fappiano (1977–1990).

Family tragedies

During the 1870s Abe Buford suffered a series of financial reversals that forced him into bankruptcy with the resulting loss of Bosque Bonita Farm to his creditors. In addition, he suffered a devastating personal loss when his only son, William A. Buford, died at age twenty-three in 1872. He lost his wife Amanda Harris Buford in 1879 and on March 26 of that same year, his brother, Colonel Thomas Buford of Henry County, Kentucky, shot and killed Judge John Milton Elliott in Frankfort, Kentucky. Tom Buford surrendered to police and was jailed pending trial. Abe Buford came to his brother's aid and spent a great deal of money on legal fees for his defense. On appeal of a guilty verdict, Thomas Buford would eventually be found not guilty by reason of insanity and was sent to the Anchorage, Kentucky psychiatric hospital.

In his final years, Abe Buford made a living working for racing newspapers. In 1884, following his brother Thomas's much publicized escape from the insane asylum with some newspaper headlines saying he was "thirsting for blood", Abe Buford sought some peace and went to visit his nephew Benjamin T. Buford in Danville, Indiana. There, in his bedroom, a very depressed Abraham Buford took his own life. His remains were sent back to Kentucky where he was buried in the Lexington Cemetery.

The Brigadier General Abraham Buford Relief was erected November 21, 1911 on South Confederate Avenue in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

See also

  • List of American Civil War generals

References

  • Buford, Marcus Bainbridge. "A Genealogy of the Buford Family in America" (1903) ASIN: B00085UTNA
  • Heidler, David Stephen,/Heidler, Jeanne T./ Coles, David J./ McPherson, James M. "Encyclopedia Of The American Civil War" (2002) W. W. Norton & Co. ISBN 978-0393047585

External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:Find a Grave Retrieved on 2009-02-26



Share

Premier Equine Classifieds

Subscribe

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep abreast of the latest news, articles and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Did You Know?

Modern horse breeds developed in response to a need for "form to function", the necessity to develop certain physical characteristics in order to perform a certain type of work... More...


The Gypsy Cob was originally bred to be a wagon horse and pulled wagons or caravans known as Vardos; a type of covered wagon that people lived in... More...


Archaeological evidence indicates that the Arabian horse bloodline dates back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade.... More...


That the term "Sporthorse" is a term used to describe a type of horse rather than any particular breed... More...