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Re: Gen Gideon Pillow versus Gen Simon Buckner
Posted by: Virginia Mylius (ID *****5196) Date: August 06, 2009 at 05:40:58
In Reply to: Gen Gideon Pillow versus Gen Simon Buckner by James Forcum of 570

Interesting question you pose. I’m curious if you ever found a reason for their discord…other than the problems at Fort Donelson? i.e. Floyd and Pillow retreating from Ft. Donelson to Nashville in February 1862… leaving Buckner to surrender the fort to his old friend Grant. Do you find there were bad feelings between them before that?

A news article in the San Francisco Bulletin of February 20, 1862, said: “The Richmond Dispatch puts down GIDEON J. PILLOW on the list as among the resigned (!) – probably a mistake, as PILLOW, with FLOYD, at Fort Donelson, deserted on Saturday night before the surrender. BUCKNER’s message to Gen Grant surrendering the fort would leave the impression that these worthies (Floyd and Pillow) quarreled with him for the command of the fort, and when they could not get it, retreated and “made no sign” of their intentions.”

There is an interesting reference that I have been meaning to look into, and was wondering if you have seen any other reference to the Knights of the Golden Circle and these gentlemen?

October 3, 1861, Vermont Phoenix: John C. Breckenridge a “K.G.C.” – The precipitate flight of John C. Breckenridge, without apparent cause, is fully explained in a letter from Paducah, KY in the New York Herald. The letter states that when the Federal troops took possession of Paducah, a “castle” of the K.G.C.’s was seized, wherein were found some important documents. The writer states: “Among them are letters written by Gov. Beriah Magoffin, Senator John C. Breckenridge, Gen. Gideon J. Pillow, Gen. Buckner, Mr. Representative Burnett and others, all of whom are thus proved to have been members of this reasonable league, and many of them are leaders in the movement. A copy of the proceedings of the last three meetings of the ‘National Castle’ was also found, which lets in several rays of light upon the strange conduct of Governors Harris, Jackson, and Magoffin, and the breaking up of the Charleston Convention; a letter- or, rather, a private circular – from two members of Mr. Buchanan’s Cabinet, while yet in office, stating the number and quality of arms which would be in the Southern States at the expiration of their terms of office, and other information which will be of use when the rebellion is crushed.” The seizure of these documents was kept a secret until several of the traitors had been arrested. Three of them are now in Fort Lafayette. Breckinridge got wind of his danger in (time) to escape, which is a great pity.”

In a 1862 news article from The Patriot [a Pennsylvania newspaper] about the capture of Gideon J. Pillow, Simon Bolivar Buckner, and Albert Sidney Johnston at Fort Donelson, mentions the wounding of Bucker at Cherubusco, and says of Pillow: “He made some sad blunders in Mexico, but his bravery has never been impugned.”

I am a Pillow descendant, and always interested in information about them. Thank you,
Virginia Mylius


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