Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BUCKNER, Silnon Bolivar, soldier, born in Kentucky in 1823. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1844. Entering the 2d infantry, he was, from August, 1845, till May, 1846, assistant professor of ethics at West Point. He was brevetted first lieutenant for gallantry at Contreras and Churubusco, where he was wounded, and captain for gallantry at Molino del Rey. He was appointed assistant instructor of infantry tactics at West Point, August, 1848, and resigned 25 March, 1855. He was superintendent of construction of the Chicago custom-house in 1855, and colonel of the volunteers raised in Illinois in that year for the Utah expedition, but not mustered into service. He then practiced law, and became the most prominent of the Knights of the Golden Circle in Kentucky. After the civil war began he was made commander of the state guard of Kentucky and adjutant-general of the state. On 12 September, 1861, he issued from Russellville an address to the people of Kentucky, calling on them to take up arms against the usurpation of Abraham Lincoln, after which he occupied Bowling Green. After the capture of Fort Henry he evacuated that place and withdrew to Fort Donelson, where he commanded a brigade in the battles of 13, 14, and 15 February, 1862, and, after the escape of Pillow and Floyd, surrendered the fort, 16 February, to General Grant, with 16,000 prisoners and vast stores. He was imprisoned at Fort Warren, Boston, until exchanged in August, 1862. He subsequently commanded the 1st division of General Hardee's corps in Bragg's army in Tennessee. Later he was made a major general, and assigned to the 3d grand division, was in the battles of Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, and surrendered with Kirby Smith's army to Osterhaus, at Baton Rouge, 26 May, 1865. General Buckner's first wife was a daughter of Maj. Kingsbury. He was one of the pall-bearers at General Grant's funeral. He was elected governor of Kentucky in 1887.
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