|Birth: ||Nov. 28, 1836|
|Death: ||Jan. 9, 1908|
CONFEDERATE VETERAN, volume 16, NO. 3 (1908), pages 137-139):
"Of no distemper, of no blast he died,
But fell like Autumn fruit that mellowed long."
At his home, at Winona, Miss., on January 9, passed to his reward Maj. Robert Allen Allison, aged seventy-one years, one month, and twelve days. Major Allison had had a severe spell of pneumonia during the fall of 1907, from which he had never fully recovered. On the day the summons of the grim reaper reached him he had expressed himself as feeling even better than usual and had spent some time in his office. After gently protesting to the anxious ministrations of his always devoted wife that he was "all right," he seated himself in a reclining chair, and almost immediately and without a struggle quietly passed away. It was truly a fitting end to his long, gentle, and unobtrusive life, evidencing even in his last hours the same earnest devotion to duty, the same courteous regard for those about him, the same gentle self-effacement and brave self-control that had characterized his whole life.
Robert Allen Allison, the second son of Andrew and Rebecca Allison, was born at the home of his maternal grandfather, Robert Allen (who was a distinguished officer of the War of 1812), in Carthage, Tenn., on November 28, 1836. He graduated at Cumberland University, in Lebanon, in the class of 1857, and soon thereafter became associated with his father and elder brother in the wholesale trade of Nashville. In early boyhood he became a member of the Presbyterian Church, and even at that early age manifested that piety of heart and purity of mind that distinguished him throughout his entire life. His faith was ever that of a child trusting a good and tender father, an his service to his Church was faithful as member, deacon, and elder.
In February, 1861, he married Miss Belle Kelso, of Lincoln County, Tenn., a beautiful and noted belle, and entered upon that loving and tender companionship for which his loving heart and exquisitely refined nature so eminently fitted him and which was ended only with his death in her arms after almost a half century of ideal love and devotion.
In the very morning, of his wedded life, with a brilliant and successful business career just opening, before him, with the tender kiss of his firstborn upon his lips, he heard the call of his country to her sons, and. turning aside from all thought of personal pleasure sternly set his face to duty, sprang to her defense, and enlisted in the Provisional Army of Tennessee in the early spring of 1861. When the State seceded and the State troops were transferred to the army of the Confederacy, he was made adjutant on the staff of that distinguished preacher-soldier, Col. Wyley M. Ried, in whose Church he had long been a devoted member, and remained with him until his chief fell, in the forefront at Shiloh.
Upon the reorganization of the army after Shiloh he went to Lincoln County, saw his girl wife with her baby, and assisted in the organization and equipment of a company for the mounted artillery service, and marched them one hundred and ten strong, on their own horses and furnished with their own uniforms, side arms, camp furniture, and rations, to Lavergne, where they were sworn into the service and offered themselves to that "Wizard of the Saddle," Gen. N. B. Forrest. But, alas for the poverty of the cause upon the altar of which they had offered themselves! there were no guns for them, and the only thing to be done was for officers and privates alike to take service in the ranks and, as the grim chieftain expressed it, "wait until they could capture a battery." This they manfully did, and thus became a part of that glorious troop
"Whose hoof beats die not on fame's crimsoned sod,
But will ring through her song and her story.
For they fought like Titans and struck like gods,
And their dust is our ashes of glory."
Nor was it long until the General's promise was made good, for in little more than two weeks they captured a full battery, and in this battery he served as sergeant until captured, in 1863. After his capture, he was carried to Nashville and placed in the penitentiary, where he found as fellow-prisoners his elder brother and an uncle, and that his mother and sisters were being held under guard in their home as prisoners.
From Nashville he was sent to Camp Chase, near Columbus. Ohio, and finally to Castle Thunder, near Baltimore, and thence to City Point, on the Potomac, from which place he was exchanged and sent South. The deprivations of prison life had so undermined his health that he was ordered to report to Gen. Joseph E. Johnston for staff duty, and was at once assigned as assistant to Maj. W. H. Warren, chief ordinance officer of the Army of Tennessee. But he had hardly assumed his duties when he was stricken with a most malignant attack of typhoid pneumonia and sent back to Marietta, Ga. It was then that his, young wife, at her home in Fayetteville, learned of his whereabouts and condition, and at once set out in a buggy across the disorganized and lawless country, filled with roaming and desperate bands of bushwhackers, guerrillas, and stragglers from both armies, to his bedside. After four days and nights of almost continuous travel and through many dangers and hardships, she reached Rome, where she got a train for Marietta, where she found her husband on the very brink of the grave, and where through ten weeks of loving devotion she nursed him back to health.
Upon sufficiently recovering to be able to travel he was assigned to the staff of Gen. Leonidas Polk as assistant chief ordnance officer; but the very day after he reported for duty General Polk was killed, and Gen. Alexander P. Stewart, Major Allison's old and beloved preceptor at Cumberland University, was promoted to the command of the corps, and it was under him that he served in an unchanged position until the final surrender at Greensboro, N.C., his commission as major reaching him at Smithfield, N.C., only a few days before that sad event.
He was one of the founders and long the President of John Ingram Bivouac at Jackson, Tenn., his comrades in which, in pursuance of his often expressed wish, conducted the last sad rites over his grave.
In childhood and youth a devoted and dutiful son, a loving and tender brother, a genial and charming companion, he entered manhood rich in those high qualities that ripened with his years and gained for him the love and respect of all with whom he was brought in contact.
Returning to his home, in Nashville, after the surrender, he gathered the small remnants of his scattered and wasted resources, and with a smile upon his lips and resolution in his heart he set about the upbuilding of his fortune. Reentering business in Nashville, he was soon attracted by the development of the Southwest, and in 1867 moved to Memphis, and in connection with his brothers established a large and successful business there. He subsequently moved to St. Louis, and from there to Jackson, Tenn., and thence to Winona, Miss., where he resided until the final settlement of his earthly accounts. In all these places and in all the relations of life he was always the same high-toned gentleman and consecrated Christian. Modest and retiring, he sought no prominence or public position; but his character and talents made him a leader in every field he entered and forced upon him many positions of trust and honor in his Church and in business affairs, the duties of which were always discharged with noted faithfulness. Broad and catholic in his convictions, he was always tolerant of the opinions of others, but firm and unalterable wherever a principle was involved. His home life was ideal in its beauty and purity; and when his gentle spirit winged its flight to its home in heaven, he left behind him a void not only in the hearts of his mourning family but in the community, and gave to all who come after him an example whose ennobling influence will be felt as long as honor, Christian virtue, and high character are known.
And when it is remembered how fully, even from his boyhood days, he had been consecrated to his Master's service and in every event of his life had faithfully heeded his voice, it is easy to understand how, when the summons fell upon his attentive ears, the things of this life receded from his view, and the great white light of that other world broke upon him, his soul rose within him and his lips sent forth the happy answer. "It is all right! It is all right!"
Isabelle Kelso Allison (1839 - 1934)
Plot: Lot 339A, mausoleum
GPS (lat/lon): 35.61033, -88.82532
Created by: Mary & Kent
Record added: Jun 09, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 112057278