Robert C. Buchanan, nephew by marriage of President John Quincy Adams, became a
cadet at the Military Academy at
West Point in 1826. He graduated and was made a Brevet 2nd Lieutenant in July of 1830. Later, the same month, he was
made a 2nd Lieutenant. He served in the Black Hawk War in 1832 and became Adjutant of the 4th US in 1835.
Promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1836, he served in Florida during the Seminole Indian
Wars, seeing action in several skirmishes
and the battle of Okeechobee in December, 1837.
He was promoted to Captain in 1838 and was part of the military
occupation of Texas (1845-1846). During the War with
Mexico he participated in the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Chapultepec and the capture of Mexico
City in 1847. Captain Buchanan was Breveted Lt. Colonel in 1846 for gallant and distinguished services in the battles of
Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma.
Buchanan was promoted to Major in February 1856.
During the war, Buchanan saw varied service. As a Brevet Lt. Colonel of regulars,
he participated in the battles of Gaines'
Mill, Malvern Hill, 2nd Bull Run, and Antietam. In November, 1862, he was made a Brigadier General of Volunteers and was
engaged in the Battle of Fredericksburg. He was promoted to Colonel (of regulars) in 1864. He was Breveted to Brigadier
General United States Army in March of 1865 for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Malvern Hill. Buchanan
was breveted to Major General in March 1865 for gallant and distinguished services at the battles of 2nd Bull Run and
After the war he serverd on the Board for the Examination of Breech loading Arms
(10 March - 1 August 1866); and later
(through 1867) on several commisions. In January of 1868 he was placed in command of the District of Louisiana.
He retired on December 31st, 1870.