Buckner, Simon Bolivar

Buckner, Simon Bolivar,

1823–1914, Confederate general, b. Hart co., Ky., grad. West Point, 1844. In 1860, Buckner, a Louisville businessman, secured passage of a bill creating a large Kentucky militia and as inspector general trained it. Although he attempted to keep Kentucky neutral during the Civil War, when the legislature became strongly Unionist he took a commission as Confederate brigadier general (Sept., 1861). At Fort DonelsonFort Donelson
, Confederate fortification in the Civil War, on the Cumberland River at Dover, Tenn., commanding the river approach to Nashville, Tenn. After capturing Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River (Feb. 6, 1862), General Ulysses S. Grant, on Feb.
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 (Feb., 1862) he surrendered to Grant and was taken prisoner but was soon exchanged and promoted to major general. He fought in Bragg's invasion of Kentucky (Oct., 1862), Mobile (Dec., 1862–63), and Chattanooga (Sept., 1863), and commanded the Dept. of East Tennessee (May–Aug., 1863) and Louisiana from 1864 to the end of the war. Later he was editor of the Louisville Courier and governor of Kentucky (1887–91).


See biography by A. M. Stickles (1940).

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Buckner, Simon Bolivar

(1823–1914) Confederate soldier; born near Munfordville, Ky. He graduated from West Point in 1844 and saw extensive action during the Mexican War. Buckner entered Confederate service as a brigadier general in September 1861. In February 1862, after his two senior officers escaped to safety, he surrendered Fort Donelson, Ky., to General Grant after receiving Grant's famous "unconditional surrender" message; exchanged later in 1862, Buckner commanded a wing of Bragg's army at Chickamauga. After the war, he edited a Louisville newspaper and served as Democratic governor of Kentucky from 1887 to 1892.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.