Robert Christie Buchanan

Robert Christie Buchanan, a nephew by marriage of President John Quincy Adams, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 1, 1811. During Adams' administration Buchanan obtained an appointment to the Military Academy and was graduated in 1830. He took part in the Black Hawk War of 1831-32 and in the campaign against the Florida Seminoles during 1837-38 and was promoted to captain of the 4th Infantry. In the Mexican War, Buchanan distinguished himself at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, and at Molino del Rey. He won successively the brevets of major and lieutenant colonel. He served on garrison and recruiting duty for some years and, at the outbreak of the Civil War, his regiment defended Washington until the spring of 1862, when Buchanan was given command of the "Regulars," a brigade of old army troops in Sykes's division of the V Corps. With these men he participated with distinction in the battles of the Seven Days and was twice brevetted. He was present at Second Manassas under General Fitz John Porter. Although Porter was here made the goat of John Pope's ineptitude and subsequently cashiered, Buchanan was praised in Pope's report. Promoted to brigadier of volunteers to rank from November 29, 1862, he commanded the Regulars at Sharpsburg and at Fredericksburg, where his deportment was highly commended, although his casualties were heavy. The Senate failed to act upon Buchanan's nomination to brigadier, and his appointment expired at the opening of the next session of Congress (March 4, 1863), at which time he assumed command of the defenses of Fort Delaware.  In 1864 he became colonel of the 1st Infantry through seniority and at the close of the war was brevetted brigadier and major general, U. S. Army. His chief post-bellum work was as commander of the Department of Louisiana; at the instructions of the Republican Radicals he enforced upon the prostrate state a Negro governor and a carpetbag legislature. Buchanan was retired in 1870 and died in Washington, D. C, on November 29, 1878. He was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery.

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Reference:  Generals in Blue.  Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Louisiana State University Press.  Baton Rouge.