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Simon Bolivar Buckner
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Military Personnel
    (April 1, 1823-January 8, 1914)
    Born in Hart County, Kentucky
    Instructor at West Point (1844-46,1849-50)
    Served in the Mexican-American War (1846-48)
    Major-general in the Kentucky state militia (1861)
    Joined the Confederate Army as a brigadier general (September 14, 1861)
    Surrendered Fort Donelson to Union forces (February 16, 1862)
    Exchanged for a Union general (August 15, 1862)
    Served under General Braxton Bragg in the Confederate campaign in Kentucky (September-October, 1862)
    Commanded the Third Corps of the Army of Tennessee (April-September, 1863)
    Commander of the District of West Louisiana (August 4, 1864-May 26, 1865)
    Governor of Kentucky (1887-91)
    He turned down an offer of a commission as a brigadier general in the Union Army and joined the Confederate Army even though he came from a state that remained in the Union.
    He repeatedly feuded with fellow General Gideon J. Pillow during the Battle of Fort Donelson.
    He unsuccessfully ran for the US Senate (1895).
    After the Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan for President, he bolted the party to form the pro-gold standard National Democratic Party and was their candidate for Vice President. The ticket drew 1% of the vote (1896).
    His second wife, Delia, was only a year older than his daughter, Lily.
    He was cited several times for gallantry during the Mexican-American War and was given the honor of lowering the US flag for the last time when the American occupation of Mexico City ended.
    While stationed at Forts Snelling and Atkinson in Kansas (1850-52), he earned such a reputation for dealing fairly with the Indians that Oglala Lakota leader Yellow Bear refused to negotiate with anyone but him.
    Despite having been on opposite sides during the Battle of Fort Donelson, he and Ulysses S. Grant were lifelong friends. He paid for Grant’s funeral and financially supported his widow with a monthly stipend.
    He was so wealthy that when a tax cut (passed over his veto) drained the state treasury, he was able to loan Kentucky enough money for the state to remain solvent until new tax revenue came in (1890).
    When he was 80, he memorized five Shakespearean plays because he was losing his vision to cataracts. (An operation saved his sight.)

Credit: C. Fishel

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