A Civil War Biography
Robert Christie Buchanan
Buchanan, the nephew, by marriage, of President John Quincy Adams,
was born 1 March 1811 in Baltimore, Maryland. Buchanan graduated
31st in the West Point class of 1830. He fought as a lieutenant in
the Black Hawk and Seminole wars. He was promoted to captain on 1
November 1838. He was brevetted major on 9 May 1846 and commanded a
battalion of Maryland volunteers from 25 November 1846 until 30 May
1847 while fighting in the war with Mexico. He was brevetted
lieutenant colonel on 8 September 1847.
Buchanan was assigned to the 4th US Infantry after the war with
Mexico. He was Ulysses S. Grant's commanding officer when Grant
resigned from the 4th US Infantry on 11 March 1854. Buchanan was
promoted to major on 3 February 1855.
When the Civil War erupted Buchanan was made lieutenant colonel of
the 4th which was stationed in the defenses of Washington from
November 1861 until the following March. In March the 4th became
part of the 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, V Corps, Army of the Potomac
and saw action in the siege of Yorktown and during the Seven Days.
Buchanan commanded the brigade during the Seven Days. He was
brevetted colonel on 27 June 1862 and remained in command of the
brigade at Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.
In November 1862 he was appointed brigadier general of volunteers,
but the Senate would not confirm his appointment citing his
association with Fitz John Porter. Buchanan was assigned to command
Fort Delaware in March 1863. In February 1864 he was promoted to
colonel and assigned to the 1st US Infantry. He commanded the 1st at
New Orleans from December 1864 until August 1865. On 13 March 1865
he was brevetted Brigadier General US Army for his conduct at Gaines
Mills and Major General US Army for services at Second Bull Run and
Fredericksburg. He commanded the Department of Louisiana from
January 1868 until January 1869. He was in command of Fort Porter,
New York when he retired on 31 December 1870 after 30 years of
service. Buchanan died 29 November 1878.
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