ALLEN BUCKNER GRAVESTONE PHOTO
The Baldwin Ledger, Friday, Nov. 16, 1900, Pg. 3
Vol. XVIII, No. 5
Colonel Allen Buckner
As quietly as a dead leaf falls his spirit passed out into the beyond. A national character, powerful independence, a patriotic spirit, an intense soul, a good man; but the closing of an autumnal day found his career ended.
Allen Buckner was born Oct. 8, 1830 on a farm in Clark County Illinois. He was the eldest of a large family. His school days in that sparsely settled country were very limited but Allen had exceptional native ability and soon manifested it. He became a Methodist minister at the age of 23. At the end of the first Conference year he reported 400 conversions—remarkable record, but he was a remarkable man. In 1852 he was married to Miss Emily Hungerford but in two short years she died. In 1865 he was married to Miss Miranda E. Waller, a noble woman who was his constant companion until a year ago.
His success in the ministry continued, but early in ’61 the stirring events found his dauntless spirit kindred with patriotic zeal and he became a first lieutenant in the 25th Illinois and commanded a company at Pearidge. After the battle of Shiloh he determined to go home and call upon his friends to rally to the Union cause. At his own expense he began recruiting. Aug. 28, 1862 they were mustered in and he was unanimously elected major of the afterward famous 79th Illinois. At the battle of Stone River he commanded the regiment. At Murfreesboro the colonel was killed early in the engagement and Allen Buckner took charge of the regiment, which position he held until the close of the war.
At Chickamauga his regiment was in the hottest of the fight. At the close of the day his line of battle was giving away. Seizing the battle colors he shouted in that clear, commanding voice of his, Boys, this is the OLD FLAG! Don’t desert it! We must fight until it floats over all the land! Stand by it, boys-right here-there is no danger!” The ear was deadened by the sound of flying missles, but the boys stood. The flag was a target for the enemy and the Colonel’s clothes were riddled with bullets. Mr. Follin who tells us the incident, says all the soldiers expected to see their commander fall any minute. But he did not, and the boys rallied grandly to his support. Yes, in the words of the Colonel, “The flag floats over all the land,” and it was such noble, patriotic spirits as that of Allen Buckner that kept all the stars in that glorious banner.
On Nov. 25, 1863, Col. Buckner was officer of the day of Sheridan’s division and had charge of his front line when the assault was made on Missionary Ridge. That was one of the most thrilling events of the Civil War. Daring, bravery and sagacity were necessary to make it a successful charge. Nature was against them but the flag went up. Bragg retreated, and Col. Buckner captured several heavy peaces of artillery. Gen. Johnson gave him the soubriquet of the “Fighting Parson” and the name clung to him until his death. A few years since he visited the scenes of this great conflict. At the foot of the mountain, almost the identical spot where his regiment ascended the ridge there now stands a church. He preached in this church on Sabbath and he thought “how fitting that a church should mark the place where the battle oce raged, for it is a symbol of peace.” He led the charge at Rocky Edge Ridge May 9, 1864, where he was shot through the body and supposed to be mortally wounded. But he had more work to do, and in a few months took command of his regiment before he was able to wear a sword. He was in the Battle of Franklin ad at the battle of Nashville commanded a brigade of four regiments under Gen. Thomas. It was a brilliant military career and yet through its stern realities he found time to look after the spiritual wants of his regiment and for several years they had no other chaplain but the Colonel.
When he ceased to command a regiment he didn’t cease to command men. He was immediately made Presiding Elder of the Paris, Ill. District and remained in that state until 1871 when he came to Kansas. Here he has had a powerful influence in moulding the future of the state. Much of the success of the church is due to his arduous efforts. That clear, pleading commanding voice after it left the battle field was used to influence and persuade men to support the church and college, he having been a trustee and financial agent of Baker University for several years. He was chaplain of the Kansas State Senate for eight years-1881 to 1889—and was chaplain of the House in 1899. Within 24 hours of his death he was planning for the next summer. What an eventful life and every event an important one. Such a life commands the admiration of the entire world.
He fell asleep at the home of his son-in-law, Rev. M. S. Rice, at Mt. Vernon, Iowa on Friday, Nov. 9, while the shades of evening were beginning to gather about a closing day. He was buried at Baldwin last Sunday afternoon. The funeral services were conducted by Dr. S. S. Murphy. The M. E. church was crowded with people glad to honor one so noble and true. The American flag covered his casket, and no man in this country has earned that honor more than Allen Buckner.
“Servant of God, well doe,”
Thy glorious warfare’s past,
The battle’s fought, the race is ran,
And thou art crowed at last.”