Simon Bolivar Buckner Edit Profile
Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1844.
After attending the academy at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, he graduated eleventh in a class of twenty-five from the U.S. Military Academy in 1844. Bucker was an Episcopalian and a Democrat. He married Mary Kingsbury on May 2, 1850, and Delia Claiborne on June 10, 1885.
By his second marriage, he had a son who died in childhood and a daughter. Buckner was an assistant professor of ethics at West Point in 1845-1846 and an assistant instructor in tactics from 1848 to 1850. A quartermaster at the beginning of the Mexican War, he was breveted first lieutenant for gallantry at Churubusco and was breveted captain at Molino del Rey.
He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1851 and to captain the following year, but he resigned his commission in 1855 to deal in real estate in Chicago. In 1860, he returned to Hart County, Kentucky, to become inspector general of state guards. Although he owned no slaves and opposed secession, Buckner offered his services to the Confederacy and was commissioned a brigadier general commanding all Confederate troops in Kentucky on September 14, 1861.
In February 1862, he surrendered Fort Donelson, was captured, and was later exchanged. He led a division at the Kentucky battles of Munfordville and Perryville in the fall of 1862, after which he spent several months as commander of the Department of South Alabama, working on the engineering of the Mobile defenses. In May 1863, he commanded the Department of East Tennessee and West Virginia, and later the same year he was a corps commander at Chickamauga.
In the spring of 1864, he joined the Army of Northern Virginia, where he was promoted to lieutenant general. In late 1864, he was made corps commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department but saw little action. During the war, he was a member of the Kentucky faction in the army which opposed Braxton Bragg and President Davis.
He surrendered his army after Lee surrendered. Since his terms of surrender denied him the right to return to Kentucky, Buckner lived in New Orleans for three years and was in the insurance business. In 1868, he returned to Kentucky and became editor of the Louisville Courier for the next twenty years.
From 1887 to 1892, he was Democratic governor of Kentucky. He then farmed on his estate near Munfordville, Kentucky. In 1896, he bolted the party to run for vice-president on the National Gold Standard ticket.
Buckner went into retirement but became a noted platform speaker. He had the distinction of being a pallbearer at the funeral of U. S. Grant. He outlived all other Confederate veterans of his military rank, dying on January 8, 1914, in Hart County, Kentucky.
"Peculiar institution" of slavery was not only expedient but also ordained by God and upheld in Holy Scripture.
Stands for preserving slavery, states' rights, and political liberty for whites. Every individual state is sovereign, even to the point of secession.
Member Kentucky Constitutional Convention, 1891.
Married Delia Claiborne, 1886.