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Civil War Soldiers - Buell

Buell, Don Carlos, major-general, U.S. Army, was born near Marietta, Ohio, March 23, 1818. He was graduated at West Point in 1841, and assigned to the 3d infantry, being raised to 1st lieutenant June 18, 1846. He served in the war with Mexico, being brevetted captain for gallant action at Monterey, and major after Contreras and Churubusco, having received a severe wound in the latter engagement, and was then, from 1848 to 1861, on duty as assistant adjutant-general at Washington and at various department headquarters. He received a staff appointment as lieutenant-colonel, May 11, 1861, was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers on May 17, being employed at first in organizing the troops at Washington, and in Aug., 1861, was given command of a division of the Army of the Potomac. In Nov., 1861, he superseded Gen. W. T. Sherman as commander of the Department of the Cumberland, which was reorganized as the Department of the Ohio, and the campaign in Kentucky was opened on Dec. 17, 1861, when an attack was begun upon his pickets at Rowlett station, near Munfordville. Gen. Buell occupied Bowling Green, Feb. 14, 1862, took possession with a small force of Gallatin, Tenn., on the 23d, and entered Nashville two days later. On March 21, 1862, he was made major-general of volunteers, his department becoming a part of the Department of the Mississippi under Gen. Halleck, and on the 6th of April following, his opportune arrival at Shiloh saved Gen. Grant from disastrous defeat. On June 12, 1862, he took command of the Department of the Ohio, and, upon the advance of Bragg into Kentucky, he was forced to evacuate Central Tennessee, and make a rapid retreat to Louisville, in order to save that city, and Cincinnati, which also was threatened by the Confederates. He arrived at Louisville at midnight, Sept. 24, amid great excitement, as the inhabitants had feared that Bragg would get there first. Buell was ordered to give over his command to Thomas, Sept. 30, but was re-instated the next day and began a pursuit of the Confederates. After a week's chase, Bragg halted to give battle at Perryville, and there the two armies fought an indecisive battle which lasted from early in the afternoon of Oct. 8 until dark, with great loss on both sides. On the next day Bragg retired to Harrodsburg, and thence slowly to Cumberland gap. Buell's management of this command has been pronounced masterful by military authorities, but he was censured by the war department for not pursuing the Confederates swiftly enough to bring them into action again, and on Oct. 24, 1862, was ordered to turn over his command to Gen. Rosecrans. A military committee made a report which was never published. Gen. Buell was mustered out of the volunteer service, May 23, 1864, and resigned his commission in the regular army June 1, 1864. After the war he became extensively engaged in the iron business in Muhlenburg county, Ky., and in 1885 was appointed by President Cleveland pension agent in Kentucky. He died near Rockport, Ky., Nov. 19, 1898.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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