From the recording Cashtown Road
Cashtown Road appropriately opens the song cycle. General John Buford studies the horizon and begins to visualize what the day holds in store. In the lyric, there is reference to Gethsemane, where Buford first wonders if this burden might lifted from his shoulders. Homer's Odyssey is also referenced as Buford envisions the gods at play, where the earthly combatants are merely the chess pieces of a supernatural game.
Of course, these are my own conjecture as to what was running through Buford's mind. From what I've read about this general, the train of thought expressed in this song would not be out of his character. Ultimately, Buford sets his jaw and accepts the responsibility levied on him on the morning of July 1, 1863...very much in his character.
Todd Burge gives us a classic vocal performance as John Buford. Todd made this song his own, cycling Buford through the knowing, the angst, and ultimate resolve to press forward. His vocal coupled with the lush instrumentation of this piece beautifully and powerfully set the stage for the entire song cycle.