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Simon Bolivar Buckner
Civil War Encyclopedia >> People - Confederate Military
February 13, 1862
February 16, 1862
Battle of Ft. Donelson

General Ulysses S. Grant demands the unconditional surrender of the garrison from an old friend, Simon Bolivar Buckner
  Fort Henry and Fort Donelson
  Ulysses S. Grant
  Bloodiest Civil War battles
  John Floyd
  John A. McClernand
  Nathan Bedford Forrest
  Gideon Pillow
  Lew Wallace
  Army of the Tennessee
  Fort Henry and Fort Donelson
February 17, 1862 General John Floyd arrives in Nashville after leaving Simon Bolivar Buckner to surrender at Fort Donalson
  John Floyd
  Fall of Nashville, February, 1862
September 14, 1862
September 17, 1862
Battle of Munfordville

After being initially repulsed by a federal garrison of 4,000, Braxton Bragg [CS] laid a brief seige. Federals surrendered on the 17th.
  Braxton Bragg
  Confederate Invasion of Kentucky
  Battle of Munfordville
October 8, 1862 Battle of Perryville

Braxton Bragg [CS] and Don Carlos Buell [US] fight the largest battle on Kentucky soil. The battle is generally regarded as a draw, although Buell claimed victory. Less than half of Buell's men participated because he did not know a major battle was taking place less than 2 miles from his headquarters
  Braxton Bragg
  Don Carlos Buell
  Army of the Ohio
  Army of Tennessee
  Philip Sheridan
  Confederate Invasion of Kentucky
  William Hardee
  Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
  Leonidas Polk
  Patrick Cleburne
April 27, 1863 Major General Simon Bolivar Buckner assumes command of the Department of East Tennessee. Tennessee
July 25, 1863 Department of East Tennessee, comprised of 17,800 men under Simon Bolivar Buckner, is merged into Braxton Bragg's Department of Tennessee. Major General Buckner is assign command of a corps.
  Braxton Bragg
November 22, 1863 Completely unaware of the federal build-up in Chattanooga, Braxton Bragg detaches Buckner's Corps and orders him to join Longstreet in Knoxville. Tennessee
  Braxton Bragg

As inspector general of the Kentucky militia, early in the war Simon Bolivar Buckner met with George McClellan to assure him that Kentucky would remain neutral and not attack Cincinnati. McClellan in turn promised Buckner that Union forces would not invade Kentucky unless the state's neutrality was threatened by Confederate forces. President Abraham Lincoln wrote Buckner on July 10, 1861, reiterating McClellan's pledge.

On August 17, with Buckner still in charge of the Kentucky militia, Lincoln secretly approved a commission at the rank of Brigadier General for Buckner. Buckner refused. After Confederate troops under Gideon Pillow invaded Kentucky from Tennessee, occupying Columbus, Ulysses S. Grant seized Paducah. On September 13, 1861 Buckner showed exactly where his loyalty lay, calling for Kentuckians to take up arms against the northern invaders. The following day Buckner accepted a commission as brigadier general in the Confederate States of America Army.

He was placed in charge of state troops in central Kentucky, although the once neutral Kentucky sided with the Union following the occupation of Columbus. Under the command of Albert Sidney Johnston, Buckner took Bowling Green on September 18 with his Central Division of Kentucky. The Central Division was renamed the Central Army of Kentucky and early in October, 1861, when Buckner reported increased Yankee activity, William Hardee came from Missouri to take command. Buckner was put in charge of a division and command of a second division was given to John Floyd.

When Johnston's right flank evaporated following the Battle of Mill Springs, Simon Bolivar Buckner and some of his men were ordered to assist in the defense of Fort Donelson, Tennessee at the request of fort commander Gideon Pillow. Meanwhile, Floyd and his brigade was detached and ordered to scout the Cumberland River. Hardee prepared to move the rest of the Central Army of Kentucky to Nashville from Bowling Green.

Johnston decided John Floyd should advance to take command of the Confederate forces at Donelson to strengthen his center, but did not take into account the aggressive nature of General Ulysses S. Grant. Advancing quickly from Fort Henry, Grant invested Donelson, which contained 15,000 troops and three generals, Buckner, Pillow and Floyd, in overall command. Buckner was the lowest ranking of the three.

Following an abortive breakout attempt on February 15, General Floyd abandoned the fort, quickly followed by General Pillow. Buckner surrendered the fort the next when Grant issued his "unconditional surrender" demand. The next 6 months Buckner spent in a Yankee prisoner-of-war camp in Boston Harbor. Upon his release, Buckner was promoted to Major General and joined Braxton Bragg as a division commander in the advance on Perryville. At the battle of Perryville, Buckner's division battled the right flank of the federal army, under the command of Alexander McCook.

During Bragg's withdrawal from Kentucky Buckner was reassigned to over see coastal defenses in the Gulf of Mexico, and later to the Department of East Tennessee. After the end of the Tullahoma Campaign, Buckner was reassigned to Bragg, rejoining him as a corps commander. At Chickamauga, his corps consisted of Bushrod Johnston's division, Alexander P. Stewart's division and William Preston's division. During the first day his men pierced the Union line about 1/2 mile north of the Brotherton Cabin, but quick action on the part of William Hazen, Eli Lilly and others turned the tide for the federals.

On the second day Bragg hastily reorganized his corps into a Left Wing and Right Wing. Buckner operated under James Longstreet and participated in the breakthrough at Brotherton Cabin. After routing the Army of the Cumberland Buckner led senior staff in speaking out against Bragg and his performance since Perryville. As a result of his outspokenness, he was reassigned to Longstreet's Corps (another critic of Bragg's) and left for Knoxville before the Battles of Chattanooga.

For the rest of the Civil War Buckner was in command of the Department of East Tennessee and at the end of the war, the Trans-Mississippi Department. In 1887 he ran for governor of Kentucky as a Democrat, defeating William Bradley in the election. Notable among his accomplishments as governor was his work on standardization of the parole and school systems. His son, Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., rose to the rank of Lieutenant General before being killed in battle on the island of Okinawa.

Links appearing on this page:

Abraham Lincoln
Albert Sidney Johnston
Army of the Cumberland
Battle of Mill Springs
Battles of Chattanooga
Braxton Bragg
Central Army of Kentucky
George McClellan
Gideon Pillow
James Longstreet
John Floyd
Tullahoma Campaign
Ulysses S. Grant
William Hardee

Civil War Encyclopedia >> People - Confederate Military

Simon Bolivar Buckner was last changed on - November 24, 2007
Simon Bolivar Buckner was added in 2005

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