Henry Watkins Allen


Henry Watkins Allen Famous memorial

Prince Edward County, Virginia, USA
Death 22 Apr 1866 (aged 45)
Mexico City, Cuauhtémoc Borough, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Burial* Cuauhtemoc, Cuauhtémoc Borough, Distrito Federal, Mexico

* This is the original burial site

Plot 114
Memorial ID 19981008 View Source

Civil War Confederate Brigadier General, Confederate Louisiana Governor. Henry Watkins Allen was born in Virginia. He was the son of physician Dr. Thomas Allen and Ann (Watkins) Allen. The family moved to Missouri in 1833 and he attended Marion College, in Philadelphia, Missouri for two years until he was 17. In 1837 he became a tutor on a plantation in Grand Gulf, Mississippi and after studying the law at night was admitted to the Mississippi bar in 1841. In 1842, he served in the Texas Revolution against Mexico. He married in 1844 after he returned to Mississippi. From 1845 to 1847, he served in the Mississippi House of Representatives. After his wife died in 1851, he moved to West Baton Rouge Parish and purchased a large sugar plantation which included 125 slaves. He formed a company to build a railroad from the present Port Allen to Rosedale on Bayou Gross Tete. He studied law for a year at Harvard. After failing in his 1855 effort to be elected to the state Senate of Louisiana, he went to Europe with the intention of taking part in the Italian struggle for independence, but arrived too late. He made a tour through Europe, the incidents of which he later recounted in "'Travels of a Sugar Planter." While in Europe, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives as a member of the Know Nothing (American) party. In 1859, he transferred to the Democratic party and became floor leader. In 1860, he volunteered as a private in the Delta Rifle Company and in 1861 he helped seize the federal arsenal in Baton Rouge. In the same year, Allen founded the Louisiana Historical Society and served as the President. Before being sent to Tennessee with Beauregard in 1862, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel. He took command of the Fourth Louisiana Regiment and suffered a bullet wound in the cheek at the battle of Shiloh. He commanded a Brigade in the Battle of Baton Rouge where his leg was shattered, but he refused to have the leg amputated. But by September 1863, Allen's direct fighting career was over as he was physically unfit for service. He served briefly as the military governor of Jackson, Mississippi. Governor Thomas G. Moore appointed Allen the rank of Major General of the Louisiana Militia but he never served. He became a Brigadier General and was sent to Shreveport where he organized the paroled prisoners of war. He was elected Confederate Governor of Louisiana and was inaugurated in 1864. After a tour of the state, he approved the free distribution of cotton cards and the free distribution of medicine. He established a system of unified currency and state-run stores for citizens to buy basic supplies at low cost and allowed people to pay with Louisiana or Confederate currency. He also established a laboratory to produce medicines and medical facilities to distribute them. Allen began to trade with Mexico. His administration's program of cotton collection and trading defeated the Union blockade. He maintained public schools and authorized a geological survey of the state to locate needed raw materials with a mining and manufacturing bureau. Two battalions of state guard were organized which become the 8th Louisiana Cavalry Regiment. They assisted regular Confederate troops. When Governor Allen heard of General Robert E. Lee's surrender, at first he wanted to continue fighting, but eventually he gave a farewell speech and went into exile in Mexico. While there, he edited an English language paper the "Mexico Times" and assisted in the opening of trade between Texas and Mexico. Having never fully recovered from his battle wounds, he died and was buried in the American Cemetery in Mexico city. His remains were returned to Louisiana in 1876 and placed on the grounds of the state capitol in 1885. Allen Parish, Louisiana is named for him.

Bio by: RosalieAnn

Gravesite Details

Loc: E 5 1 4,43 Gastritis, Disnterred 1873 to US, US Brig Gen CSA Civil War,

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Deathbecomezher
  • Added: 19 Jun 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 19981008
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Henry Watkins Allen (29 Apr 1820–22 Apr 1866), Find a Grave Memorial ID 19981008, citing Mexico City National Cemetery and Memorial, Cuauhtemoc, Cuauhtémoc Borough, Distrito Federal, Mexico ; Maintained by Find a Grave .