George M. Bucklin

Inducted: 1981
Born: 02/26/1843
Died: 08/18/1918

George Bucklin was a great benefactor to the Boy Scouts of Rhode Island, donating all of the land and buildings that became Camp Yawgoog in 1916. He was honored by having his name on the large administrative hub building for the Yawgoog Scout Reservation, the location of the Three Point Dining Hall. The Bucklin Marksmanship Medal for rifle shooting is awarded to Scouts who shoot 400 points on ten targets consecutively, six in the prone position and four in the offhand position. The Bucklin Rifle Award is presented to the top marksman of the summer at Yawgoog. 

George Bucklin was born in Brooklyn, NY, on February 26, 1843. His father, Thomas P. Bucklin, was a New York merchant. His business was a tea importer under the firm name of Bucklin & Crane. The firm owned many vessels, some of them the finest clippers that sailed from the port of New York, which included the ships Comet, Intrepid, Black Hawk, and Celestial. Some years before the war, he retired from business and took up his residence with his family in East Providence, RI. George Bucklin, his son, attended the Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn as a student. He first entered the service of the United States as a private in Company D, Tenth Rhode Island Infantry, on May 26, 1862, at the second three-month call for troops to defend Washington. His company was stationed at Fort De Russey in the defenses of Washington. 

He mustered out with his regiment on September 1, 1862. He reentered the service as a second lieutenant of Company F, Twelfth Rhode Island Infantry, on October 9, 1862; transferred to Company A on March 7, 1863; and transferred to Company H on June 2, 1863. He participated with his regiment in the battle of Fredericksburg. The regiment was in the second general advance on the enemy and suffered severely. In his official report to General Nagle, Colonel Browne spoke in high commendation of the excellent conduct of his men. Among others, he named Lieutenant Bucklin as meriting special mention and recommended him for promotion, which he afterward received, being commissioned first lieutenant and transferred to Company C on June 15, 1863. The regiment served with General Burnside in the Kentucky campaign. The regiment was mustered out of service July 29, 1863. 

Upon his return to Rhode Island, Lieutenant Bucklin was commissioned a captain in the First Brigade, Rhode Island Militia, on September 1, 1863, but resigned about September 21 to accept a captaincy in the Fourteenth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery (Colored). He passed the examination as captain at Washington, DC, before General Casey’s board and was appointed captain by the President of the United States in the same regiment and assigned to Company C. He was stationed with his battalion at Fort Esperanza, Matagorda Island, from January 3, 1864, until May 19, 1864. 

He was sent to Fort Jackson, LA, on the Mississippi River on July 3, 1864, and then removed to Brashear City, LA, in May 1865. The company was detached and placed in command at Fort Buchanan, Bayou Teche, where it was flooded out and returned to Brashear City. Captain Bucklin resigned his commission at the close of the war (August 24, 1865) and returned North. 

After the war, George Bucklin remained active in various organizations. He was a member of the Colorado Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Bucklin Post, No. 20, Grand Army of the Republic, of East Providence, R. I., Providence Chess Club. He served as the President of the San Antonio Chess Club of San Antonio, Texas. 

Captain Bucklin died on August 18, 1918, at age 75. He was buried in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, RI. He was inducted into The Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 1981.  

For additional reading:

Scout Trail, 1910-1962: History of the Boy Scout movement in Rhode Island, January 1, 1964. 

The Yawgoog Story, Volume I, William Harold. 

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