Simon Bolivar Buckner Letter, 1862
Simon Bolivar Buckner (1823-1914) was born on April 1, 1823, near Munfordville, Kentucky, at his family's estate, Glen Lily, to Aylett Hartswell Buckner (1798-1851) and Elizabeth Ann (born Morehead) Buckner (1801-1861). He graduated from the United States Military Academy on July 1, 1844. Buckner taught at West Point before and after his service in the Mexican American War (1846-1848). On May 2, 1850, Buckner married Mary Jane (born Kingsbury) Buckner (1832-1874) in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and together they had two children; only one, Lily (born Buckner) Belknap (1858-1893), survived into adulthood.
Buckner served at various army posts through March 26, 1855, at which time he became the manager of family property in Chicago, Illinois. On September 14, 1861, Buckner joined the Confederate Army as a brigadier general. On February 16, 1862, Buckner surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, Tennessee. After a prisoner exchange on August 15, 1862, Buckner was promoted and continued to serve the confederacy until the end of the war, by which time he was a lieutenant general.
Buckner returned to Kentucky in 1868 after spending post-war time in New Orleans with a staff position on the Daily Crescent. At home he became the editor of the Louisville Courier and he exceled in other business ventures, making him wealthy. In 1877, Buckner returned to his family's estate, Glen Lily, and entered into politics as a Democrat. Buckner served as the governor of Kentucky from 1887 through 1891.
Following the death of his first wife, Buckner married Delia Hayes (born Claiborne) Buckner (1857-1932) in 1885. Together they had one son, Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. (1886-1945). At his home in Munfordville, Buckner died on January 8, 1914, at the age of 91.
Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopedia. "Army." Encyclopedia Britannica, April 29, 2020.
Searles, Harry. "Simon Bolivar Buckner, Sr." American History Central. R. Squared Communications, LLC, last modified February 10, 2021.
"Simon Bolivar Buckner Sr. (1823-1914)." Find A Grave. Accessed June 22, 2021.
The Simon Bolivar Buckner Letter, 1862, is a copy of Buckner's letter written from his headquarters at Dover, Tennessee, February 16, 1862, to Ulysses S. Grant, accepting terms of surrender.
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Simon Bolivar Buckner Letter, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
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Subsequent revisions were made by Rebecca Wells, June 2021.
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