|Simon Bolivar Buckner
b. April 1, 1823, Hart County, Ky.
d. January 8, 1914, Munfordville, Ky.
Buckner graduated 11th in his West Point class in 1844 but left the army in 1855 to pursue a career in business. In 1860, he became the head of the Kentucky State Guard. Buckner was not a slave holder but decided to decline a commission in the U.S. Army in 1861 to support Kentucky's neutrality. However in September 1861, the Union government questioned his loyalties and he fled south to avoid arrest. On September 14, 1861, he was commissioned brigadier general in the Confederate army. He served at Bowling Green, and surrendered at Fort Donelson in 1862 when left in command by higher ranking generals who escaped before the surrender. After being freed in a prisoner exchange, he served in Kentucky, Tennessee, and at Chickamauga. After the war, he returned to Kentucky and became a successful businessman and was elected governor in 1887 (as a Democrat) and even ran for vice-president in 1896. Buckner was the last survivor of the top three Confederate ranks.
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