There is a blog that features the 1864 Diary of William A. Sheldon, 8th Illinois Cavalry, Co. H. The website is called Spared and Shared, there is an extensive post about Cavalryman William Sheldon.
It is not known if William Sheldon had kept a diary in 1863, but if he had, he most likely would have made entries about his observations of the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg. It was Sheldon’s 8th Illinois Cavalry that rode with General Buford, and it was Buford’s men that fired the first shots at the advancing Confederate army. Students of the Gettysburg Battle research how Buford’s maneuvers positioned the Union Army on the high ground as an overwhelming Southern army moved to less advantageous terrain for a battle. And now you know a Sheldon was likely there that fateful day.
According to the Spared and Shared post, “William A. Sheldon was born in Lee, Oneida County, New York—the son of John Huzer Sheldon (1818-1902) and Hannah Roseanne Hawley (1818-1890). Sometime in the early 1850’s and well before the 1860 US Census, the Sheldons left the Empire State and relocated to McHenry, Illinois, where William’s father made a living as a wagon-maker.”
Special thanks to the Spared and Shared for posting this interesting story about William A. Sheldon.