Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 13, 1861 (Sunday): Breckinridge Reports For Duty

John C. Breckinridge
BOWLING GREEN, October 13, 1861.

General S. COOPER:
Major Breckinridge is with this army. He has resigned his position of Senator in stirring address to the people of Kentucky. He will enter the army, if necessary, as a private soldier. Please say to the President that he will accept any position that may be tendered him. Permit me to suggest his name as a brigadier-general, either for the Kentucky brigade or for a separate column, to be directed through the strong southern-rights counties in Eastern Kentucky. I make this suggestion on my own responsibility, but with a knowledge of Major Breckinridge's views. 

S. B. BUCKNER, Brigadier-General. 

Series I., Vol. 4, Part 1, Page 445

Breckinridge was 14th Vice-President of the United States (under Buchannon) and ran against Lincoln for President in 1860.  He was elected to the Senate in 1859 for a seat which did not open until 1861 and was epelled from the Senate.  Arriving in Kentucky, pro-Union forces in the state senate lobbied General George Thomas to arrest him for pro-Southern views.  On October 2 he escaped arrest and here is reported by Buckner as available for duty.  Because of his slowness in coming to the Confederate cause it was thought by many, including Grant, that he was reluctant to take arms against the Union.  In November he received an appointment as Brigadier General.  He served under Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh, fought in most of the battles of the Army of Tennessee and eventually ended up with Early in the Valley Campaign of 64' before becoming the last Confederate Secretary of War. 

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