Friday, June 22, 2007

The Civil War meets World War II

OK, remember I mentioned I was going to post about the book I finished after Paul Shirley's?

Well, here it is, and it's...

Civil War trivia time.

Except, it's also World War II trivia time!

You all know Ulysses S. Grant, hero of the Union.

Well, some people say Grant won the Civil War at Fort Donelson and Fort Henry.

Those battles, early in the war, earned "U.S. Grant" his nickname, "Unconditional Surrender" Grant.

The man he demanded that unconditional surrender from, at Fort Donelson, was an old friend turned Confederate general, the slightly improbably named Simon Bolivar Buckner.

I guess he must have been named for Simon Bolivar...?

Anyway, Buckner not only survived the Civil War, he wound up the last surviving Confederate general above the rank of brigadier. He lived, in fact, until 1914.

Along the way, he had a son, whom he named Simon Bolivar Buckner (Jr.).

Buckner the younger also became a general. In fact, he was commander of the forces at the battle of Okinawa, the subject of the book I was reading.

Unfortunately, "Buck" Buckner failed to live up to his father's example in one regard: He was killed in action on Okinawa, making him the highest-ranking general killed (by enemy fire) during the war.

Interestingly, a bit of Wikipedia research reveals the family is up to Simon Bolivar Buckner IV and Simon Bolivar Buckner V.

It's a strange name, to be sure, but it's a proud one, and the men who bore it have served their countries pretty well.


Stewie said...

Are there a lot of generals that are direct descendants from the Civil War?

Ace said...

Probably. But as for generals descended from generals... Buckner's the only one I've ever heard of. There may well be more, though.