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JBS site v.013 Copyright,1998 through 2013, Leonard Bucklin

Biographical Notes on the

By Leonard H. Bucklin

Who was John Knight Bucklyn?

What did he do?

John Knight Bucklyn (with a "y") was born on 21 April 1834 in Hopkins Mill, Forster, Rhode Island. His family line is firmly in the Bucklin (spelled with an "i") family line. John Knight Bucklin descended directly from William Bucklin who came to New England in 1630. . (William - Joseph - Joseph, Jr - Benjamin - Squire - Squire, Jr. - Jeremiah - John Knight.)  John's father - Jeremiah - was born into the Bucklins that had been in Forster since Squire Bucklin settled there as a blacksmith.

Father changed Bucklin to Bucklyn.

It was only when the line reached Jeremiah, that Jeremiah decided to change his family name to "Bucklyn." All of Jeremiah's siblings retained the "Bucklin" without the "y" as it had been for several generations --- except for brother Isaac, who changed his family's spelling to an "e" to be Bucklen! 

Newspaper clippings show Jeremiah's "Bucklyn"s and  Isaac's "Bucklen"s attending weddings and other family events of heir siblings who retained the  "Bucklin" spelling. We can conclude there apparently was no animosity that caused Jeremiah and Isaac to distinguish themselves f from their ancestors, siblings, aunts and uncles by using a different spelling.

So why was there a "Bucklin" spelling change by Jeremiah and Isaac but no name spelling change by their siblings? We do know that both Jeremiah that changed to using a "y", and his brother Isaac who changed to using an "e," were more highly educated than their father and grandfather. Perhaps Jeremiah and Isaac each thought he "knew better" how the family name should be spelled.

Jeremiah's choice of changing the spelling was firm and important to him. He even had some relatives reburied with the new spelling in the new grave markers!

Education of John Knight Bucklyn

John Knight Bucklyn graduated from the Academy at East Greenwich, RI, and taught school in East Greenwich for a period until he returned to the Academy for additional education.  In the fall of 1856 he entered the Smithville Seminary and graduated with a college degree in 1857. (One biographer indicates John had a Doctor of Legal Literature degree.) He then entered Brown University in Providence, RI, from which he graduated with honors, in 1861, with a Master of Arts degree. After his graduation he again became a teacher.

Military Service.

When the Civil War started, John Knight Bucklyn enlisted in Battery E of the Rhode Island 1st Regiment Light Artillery, which was organized at Providence 23 Sep 1861. Bucklyn declined an offered commission as an officer, stating he wanted to earn his rank.  He enlisted as a private and rose through the non-commissioned ranks and commissioned officer grades to become the commanding (brevet) Captain of the Battery E. Unit.  The unit began its service at the effective start of the military campaigns of the Civil War, and participated almost continuously in battles, including the bloody battles of  Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg.

The appreciation his men had for Bucklyn as their commander was illustrated in 1886, when a monument was erected on the Gettysburg battlefield, to mark where Battery E had fought.  After the service of dedication, several of the soldiers asked for permission, and were granted permission, to chisel at the bottom: "Lt. J. K. Bucklyn Commanding".

Civilian Career.

After the Civil War, Bucklyn formed a college preparatory school at Mystic, Connecticut, the Mystic Valley Institute, and was its President until hisJBuckMOH19152.gif (190527 bytes) death.


Bucklyn's  tomb is in the Lower Mystic Cemetery (Fish Town Cemetery), Mystic, CT.

More, more, and more about John Knight Bucklyn.

The notes and text on this page, are only a part of the information available at this website about John Knight Bucklyn. All the material has not been coordinated and edited into one organized body of information.  Therefore, to learn more about the activities of John Knight Bucklyn, e.g., more about this Civil War activities, or about his activities as an educator and the college preparatory school he operated, you will have to click on many of the links to get you around several pages about this interesting person.

Only some of those  links are on this page.  Other links are on other pages reached through the links on this page, both below, and in the left margin.

Historian Steve Usler, of Warwick, Rhode Island, has written an article about John Knight Bucklin.  Volume 4, Civil War Historian (March/April 2008 issue). Usler is in the process of writing a full book about John Knight Bucklyn.

Read our page on   John Knight Bucklyn's Medal of Honor citation, which contains both the official citation and our research notes on his heroic acts.

Read more biographical material, focusing on the personal facts and civilian career of John Knight Bucklin, at our additional page on him.

Read more biographical material, focusing on the military career of John Knight Bucklin, at our additional page on him.

Bucklyn is mentioned often in the several hundred pages of the official history of Battery E of the First Regiment of Rhode Island Light Artillery.  We have some additional notes on Bucklyn and also the entire history book of Battery E available for you.

Read information about a Civil War Union Army artillery battery.

See The above shows the position of Bucklyn's battery during the Gettysburg battle.  A larger (more pixels) version of the same map is at this link.

Read still more biographical J.K. Bucklyn material, written at the start of the 1900's. It is a part of the material we have not yet incorporated into our data base or biography of JK Bucklyn, because of lack of funds to transcribe the mass of material, or to find volunteers to do so.


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