Robert Christie Buchanan : Forced the Resignation of U.S. Grant

Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
According to Grant historian, Jean Edward Smith this is the ranking officer who in April 1854, gave U.S. Grant the option of resigning from the Army or face court-martial. Grant immediately resigned because he didn't want Julia to know he had been drunk. Eleven years later Lt. General Grant, commanding all Union forces promoted him to Major General. No hard feelings !!!


Robert Christie Buchanan

Residence was not listed; a 52 year-old US Army Officer.

Enlisted on 9/9/1861 as a Lieut Colonel.

On 9/9/1861 he was commissioned into Field & Staff US Army 4th Infantry
He was discharged for promotion on 11/29/1862
(Prior service in US Army since 1830)

On 11/29/1862 he was commissioned into
US Volunteers General Staff
He was discharged on 3/4/1863

On 2/8/1864 he was commissioned into Field & Staff US Army 1st Infantry
He Resigned on 12/31/1870

* Colonel 6/27/1862 by Brevet
* Brig-General 11/29/1862
* Colonel 2/8/1864
* Brig-General 3/13/1865 by Brevet
* Major-Gen 3/13/1865 by Brevet

Other Information:
born 3/1/1811 in Baltimore, MD
died 11/29/1878 in Washington, DC

(Graduate ;USMA in 1830)

Sources used by Historical Data Systems, Inc.:

- Dyer: A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion
- Heitman: Register of United States Army 1789-1903
- The Union Army
- Generals in Blue, Lives of the Union Commanders
- The Civil War Dictionary
- USMA: Register of Graduates & Former Cadets
(c) Historical Data Systems, Inc. @
Dec 31, 2013
Robert C. "Old Buck" Buchanan is a 19th century soldier whose life is well known to me. His service was continous, most of it served in the 4th Infantry Regiment. From 1830 to 1861, he served with the 4th rising from 2nd Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel. During the Mexican War he was brevetted for service at Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma and Molino del Rey and served during the Rogue River war in 1856. He commanded the 1st Regular Brigade, 2nd Division, Fifth Corps (the Regular Division), Army of the Potomac from 1862-1863. He was brevetted for Gaines Mill and Malvern Hill, Manassas and Fredericksburg. He was appointed Big. Gen. of Volunteers in 1862 but his appointment was vacated in 1863 and he did not serve in the field thereafter. In 1864 he was promoted as Colonel 1st Infantry Regiment and retired in 1870 with 40 years service in the US Army. He was deeply admired by all who served with him including Grant and Hancock

Grant bore him no ill will because Buchanan did him a great favor allowing him to resign rather than face the disgrace of a court martial. For what its worth, Grant always regarded the 4th Infantry as "his" regiment and assigned the remnants of the regiment to serve as his HQ guard during the final months of the war.
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