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JBS site v.013
Copyright,1998 through 2013, Leonard Bucklin
Biographical Notes on the
LIFE OF JOHN
By Leonard H.
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!
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
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.
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,
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".
After the Civil War, Bucklyn formed a college preparatory school at Mystic,
Connecticut, the Mystic Valley Institute, and was its President until his death.
Bucklyn's tomb is in the Lower Mystic Cemetery (Fish Town Cemetery), Mystic, CT.
More, more, and more about John Knight Bucklyn.
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.
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.
biographical material, focusing on the personal facts and civilian career of
John Knight Bucklin, at our additional page on him.
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.
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.