Simon Bolivar Buckner

Civil War Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner was born in Hart County, Kentucky, April 1, 1823. A West Point graduate of 1844, he resigned form the army in 1855, after earning two brevets in Mexico, and engaged in business in Chicago for several years. At the outbreak of war he was adjutant general of Kentucky in command of the stare guard, charged with the impossible task of maintaining neutrality. After declining a commission as brigadier in the Union Army in August, he was appointed brigadier general in the Confederate Army, September 14, 1861.

He was left by Generals Floyd and Pillow to consummate the surrender of Fort Donelson. Subsequently exchanged, he led a division in Bragg’s invasion of Kentucky and fought at Perryville in October 1862. From December 1862 until April 1863 he was engaged in fortifying Mobile. From May until August he commanded the Department of East Tennessee, and directed a corps at Chickamauga. Thereafter his service was largely in the Trans-Mississippi, where he was appointed lieutenant general and chief of staff to Kirby Smith, September 20, 1864.

He resided in New Orleans for three years after the war; then returned to Kentucky and became editor of the Louisville Courier. He was involved in protracted litigation to recover from his brother-in-law’s widow some valuable property in Chicago which Buckner’s wife had deeded to her brother at the commencement of the war, with the understanding that it would be deeded back at the close of hostilities. With the swing of political opinion in the state back to the old Confederate leaders, he was elected governor in 1887, and in the national campaign of 1896 was vice presidential nominee of the “Gold Democrats.”

He died on his estate “Glen Lily” near Munfordville, on January 8, 1914, in his ninety-first year, the last survivor of the three highest grades in the Confederate Army. He is buried in the State Cemetery at Frankfort, Kentucky.