His story has appeared, with updates on this site and can be found by using the search engine at upper right on this very page.
Denis was buried at the site of battle and his rermains were later moved to the National Cemetery at Marietta Georgia, some 25 km North West. But ne was buried under the wrong name. His marker also did not include the fact that he was a Medal of Honor recipient.
Over 100 years later and after tremedous efforts of a fellow named John Dubois, descendant of another 136th vet, and others, the marker was found and steps taken to have a new marker issued that reflected Buckley's hero status, correct spelling, and with the new designed MOH marker. A very impressive ceremony was conducted to unveil the stone in 2006. The following year I played a roll in unveiling a memorial at Lindsay Ontario for Buckley and was most priviedged to be join by John Dubois in its unveiling.
It was just a few years earlier that this same community of Marietta Georgia played a historic roll in the US Civil War. So too, for the beginning of the Medal of Honor story.
This very area was a major hub for several rail lines. Control of these gave considerable military advantage to either the North..or the South... in the war.
In early 1862 that control rested with the Southern States and the North badly needed it. Therefore they gave plenty of attention to a civilian spy by the name of Andrews. He came up with a plan, not once but twice, to take a handful of men, infiltrate deep into enemy Southern lands, take contol of a train, blow up a buch of important bridges, pull a few rails and cut telegraph lines. Success would mean major problems for the South and major benefits to the North who wanted to make a move on Chattannooga from the South West.
The Walt Disney movie about the capture of the train locomotive..called ... the GENERAL... made the story famous. All except the part that Disney got wrong. More about this can be learned by searching for the story on this site.
Andrews and his "raiders" were a bust at first go...because the very man they planned to operate the locomotive was drafted... by the SOUTH, just as the operation was to begin. Revised plans had a much different result.
Just North of Marietta the 2nd group of men seized an engine and a few box cars as the operator, small crew and passengers were opposite the machine in a stop-over and enjoying morning breakfast.
The raiders jumped the train and raced out heading northbound while two of the train operators began a chace starting on foot. Soon the raiders had to pull of track to allow other trains to pass by. The delays caused the Southern pursuers to get very close, even though their own train locomotive was giving chase...backwards.
While managing to pull a few ties, cut some telegraph lines and make a lot of people very mad, the plan was a flop when the raiders ran out of fuel to burn and had to abandon the line and head for the woods and their own safety.
But thousands of Cavalry, slave hunters with bloodhounds and neighbourhood men were by then scouring the area and closing in. Eventually most were caught and coutmarshalled, all being convicted in kangaroo court style. Eight were hung within days. The remained were moved about repeadly and some would escape, but the final six were actually traded for the release of southern prisoners held by the North.
The six released made their way to Wahington DC and met with the Secretary of War and other officials including the Vice President. Most recently the President had approved the creation of the Medal of Honor for the ARMY, and these six men would be the first to receive them. Later a few others would get the medal for actions before the Andrews Raiders seized this train. (This presentaion took place on 25 March 1863, and thus today in many parts of the US they celebrate Medal of Honor Day on this date.)
While not one of the 6 first to get it, above is an image of raider John M Scott. Shown above is the very medal he was awarded back in 1863. It is being presented by Linda Waggoner, one of Scott's descendants.
This medal was first loaned, and recently actually presented to the Southern Mureum of Civil War and Locomotive History at Kennesaw Georgia. Their holdings also include the very locomotive captured so many years earlier by the raiders.
The above museum has also been most priviledged and honoured to now be in receipt of this 2nd medal. At the right are descendants making the presentation. The Museum has committed to having both medals on display in the GENERAL display area for the rest of 2015. Future plans are unknown at this time.
This display commemorates the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. It was on 26 April 1865 when Southern General Joseph Johnston surrendered his army to Union General William Sherman in North Carolina.
When he and others were captured the Southerners demanded to known who their leader was. None would tell. So they picked on the youngest, whom they felt was the easiest to break.
They removed much of his clothing and had arms outstretched and held by two soldiers holding him across a large rock. Then then proceeded to whip him at least one hundred times. They only stopped when he fainted.
Quoting his tender age, and the abuse received, he was selected to be the first ever to be presented with the Medal of Honor. Elsewhere on this site you can read of my interviews of one of his descendants and the whereabouts today of his actual medal.
He attended the above reunion and is pictured with his wife at the front center.
If ever in the Atlanta area you are encouraged to visit the Museum. And of course please do not forget to also visit Canadian hero Denis Buckley's final resting place as well.
See you next week.