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On 1 July 1863, General John Buford knew exactly where he needed to be – on the high ground. As newly promoted commander of the 1st Division, Buford’s command rode into the small town of Gettysburg on 30 June. Realizing he would be facing a superior rebel force he formulated a defense against their advance. Though small in number, his cavalry men did have breech-loading carbines and a advantageous position from which to employ them. Their carbines meant that Union troops did not have to break cover to reload – a great advantage over the Confederates who had to stand to recharge their weapons. This fact, coupled with the elevated defensive positions, allowed Buford’s 2,748 troopers to hold off 7,600 Confederate infantrymen until re-enforcements could arrive.