Welcome to Who Is Buck O’Hairen.

Throughout the years, I’ve met countless collectors of Civil War era memorabilia. Many have a soldier’s hat or a musket ball, most have an authentic newspaper clipping or two, and all of us have a love of the history.

But in this hobby, occasionally you come across something beyond the battle between the Union and the Confederacy. You find a story untold.

Back in 2008, I decided to check out the National Civil War Show in Chicago. I figured that it wasn’t too far from Madison, Wisconsin where I live and that I could do a microbeer outing with some guys from high school now living there. At the show I scored a Confederate block (button) with a tinned iron back, a full tintype of a standing soldier from the 54th Massachusetts, a journal and a couple other random items. All in all, I felt it was a worthwhile trip.

The journal — more like a leather folio for papers and letters — was the cheapest item I bought. And I’ll admit, I’ve treated it as such. I paged through it and decided there was a reason the vendor sold it to me for $30 after letting me know, “Well, it ain’t a soldier’s diary.”

Basically it collected dust in my home office until I picked it up a few months back. That’s when I discovered the odd tale of a man named Buck O’Hairen. He was what most people would call a hobo, but it appears he was also a moonshiner, writer, musician, entrepreneur, amateur botanist and accidental arsonist.

WhoIsBuckOHairen.com is where I’ve catalogued the legend of Buck O’Hairen from his journal entries. Hopefully you find it as interesting as I do. Thanks for visiting the site!