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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1836

Vol. I

(Born O.)

Robert Allen

(Ap'd Ind.)


Born Mar. 15, 1811,​a1 West Point, OH.

Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1832, to July 1, 1836, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Bvt. Second Lieut., 2d Artillery, July 1, 1836.

Served: on Engineer duty, July 14 to Oct. 14, 1836; in the Florida

(Second Lieut., 2d Artillery, Aug. 16, 1836)

War, 1837‑38; in the Cherokee Nation, 1838, while transferring the Indians

(First Lieut., 2d Artillery, July 7, 1838)

to the West; on Recruiting service, 1838‑40; on Northern Frontier at Buffalo, N. Y., 1840, 1841, during Canada Border Disturbances; in garrison at Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1841‑43, 1843‑44; in command of Depot of Recruits at Ft. Columbus, N. Y., 1844‑46; in the War with Mexico,

(Captain, Asst. Quartermaster, May 11, 1846)

 p652  1846‑48, being engaged as Quartermaster of the Kentucky Cavalry on the march to Monterey, and subsequently of Bvt. Maj.‑General Twiggs' Division, being present at the Siege of Vera Cruz, Mar. 9‑29, 1847, — Battle of Cerro Gordo, Apr. 17‑18, 1847, — Battle of Contreras, Aug. 19‑20,

(Bvt. Major, Apr. 18, 1847,
for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct in the Battle of Cerro Gordo, Mex.)

1847, — Battle of Churubusco, Aug. 20, 1847, — and Assault and Capture of the City of Mexico, Sep. 13‑14, 1847; on Quartermaster duty at New

(Captain, 2d Artillery, Oct. 19, 1847: Vacated, Oct. 19, 1847)

Orleans, La., 1848, — and at New York (closing accounts), 1848‑49; as Chief Quartermaster of Pacific Division, July 15, 1849 to Mar. 14, 1852, — and Treasurer of the Military Government of California, July 15 to Dec. 20, 1849; on leave of absence, 1852‑53; and as Chief Quartermaster of the Pacific Division, Mar. 31, 1854, to Aug. 6, 1861.

Served during the Rebellion of the Seceding States, 1861‑66: as

(Major, Staff — Quartermaster, May 17, 1861)

Chief Quartermaster of the Department of Missouri, headquarters at St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 1, 1861, to Nov. 1, 1863, from which point he directed

(Colonel, Staff — Additional Aide-de‑Camp, Feb. 19, 1862)

the furnishing of the transportation and supplies for the various armies in the Mississippi Valley, — for General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Grant's Operations in Kentucky and Tennessee, — for General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Halleck's Corinth Campaign, — for General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Sherman's movement down the Mississippi to the Attack of Chickasaw Bluffs, and up the river to the Capture of Arkansas Post, — for General Grant's movements in Mississippi, including the Vicksburg Campaign, —

(Brig.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, May 23, 1863)

for General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Steele's Operations in Arkansas, — and for provisioning Fts. Gibson and Smith; and, as Chief Quartermaster of the Mississippi Valley, Nov. 1, 1863, to Oct. 6, 1866, headquarters Louisville, Ky., furnished all necessary transportation and supplies to the command of Major-General Sherman on his march across the country to join Major-General Grant at Chattanooga, by seasonable provision enabling him to participate in the victory of Missionary Ridge, — fitted out the Expeditions of East Tennessee, Kentucky, Southwestern Virginia, and North Carolina, under

(Bvt. Lieut.‑Col., Bvt. Colonel, and Bvt. Brig.‑General, U. S. Army, July 4, 1864)º

command of Major-Generals Stoneman, Burbridge, and others, — kept

(Bvt. Maj.‑General, U. S. Volunteers, and Bvt. Maj.‑General U. S. Army,
Mar. 13, 1865, for Faithful and Meritorious Services during the Rebellion)

the great Nashville Depot, the base of Major-General Sherman's Operations in Georgia, constantly supplied with every variety of stores, — and provided the troops in New Mexico, on the Plains, and in Major-General Sully's several Expeditions against the Northwest Indians.

Colonel, Staff — Asst. Quartermaster-Gen., July 28, 1866.

Mustered out of Volunteer Service, Sep. 1, 1866.

Served: as Chief Quartermaster of the Division of Pacific, Nov. 14, 1866, to May 20, 1870; as Assistant to the Quartermaster-General at Washington, D. C., May 27, 1870, to Mar. 10, 1873 (Acting Quartermaster-General, Dec. 16, 1871, to Mar. 22, 1872, and Nov. 4 to Dec. 3, 1872); as Chief Quartermaster, Division of the Pacific, Mar. 22, 1873, to Apr. 24, 1876 (leave of absence, Feb. 2 to June 1, 1875); as Member  p653 of Retiring Board, San Francisco, Cal., Nov. 25, 1875, to Sep. 19, 1876; and awaiting orders, Sep. 19, 1876, to Mar. 21, 1878.

Retired from Active Service, Mar. 21, 1878,
at his own request, after 40 Consecutive Years of Service.

Died, Aug. 5, 1886, at Geneva, Switz.: Aged 74.

Buried, Cimetière de Chêne-Bougeries, Chêne-Bougeries (GE), Switzerland.

Biographical Sketch.

Bvt. Major-General Robert Allen was born, July, 1812,​a2 in Ohio. After his graduation at the Military Academy, July 1, 1836, he performed the usual duties of an artillery officer, as detailed in his foregoing Military History.

Upon the outbreak of the Mexican War in 1846 he was appointed a Captain in the Quartermaster's Department; was on the march to Monterey with General Taylor's Army; and subsequently was the efficient Quartermaster of Twiggs' Division, being present at all the battles on General Scott's line of operations, from Vera Cruz to the City of Mexico.

Soon after this war he was ordered to the Pacific coast, where, as Chief Quartermaster and Treasurer of the Military Government of California, immense labors and responsibilities devolved upon him in organizing and directing his important branch of the machinery of this newly acquired territory, swarming with adventurers, who were little restrained by law, or anything beyond their own interests. As Treasurer of the new government he collected a million of dollars as duties, which no one claimed, and the U. S. Treasury refused to receive. Under these circumstances he could have made a fortune by loaning it at very high interest; but, with his incorruptible sense of duty, he resisted all temptations.

Allen, soon after his promotion to Major, May 17, 1861, was ordered to St. Louis as Chief Quartermaster of the Department of Missouri, where the caldron of rebellion was seething; but, notwithstanding the turbulence around him, he successfully furnished transportation and supplies to the various armies operating in the Mississippi valley till after the Vicksburg Campaign, when, from his new headquarters at Louisville, Ky., his colossal labors were continued in the more extended limits reaching from New Mexico to the Atlantic States, till the end of the Civil War, in which his faithful and meritorious services were rewarded with four brevets.

Upon the termination of the Rebellion, Allen was again sent as Chief Quartermaster to the Pacific Division, remaining there till Sep. 19, 1876, except from May 27, 1870, to Mar. 10, 1872, while Assistant to the Quartermaster-General at Washington.

After forty-two years of eminent services in the Army, Allen, Mar. 21, 1878, was retired from active service at his own request, and spent most of his remaining years travelling in Eastern Asia and Western Europe. At the age of seventy-four he passed, Aug. 5, 1886, from the turmoils of life to his placid sleep at the foot of the still waters of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

General Allen possessed great purity and kindliness of character, was much esteemed by all classes and conditions of people who knew him, and was endowed with large brain-power and administrative skill. He might have become a distinguished author had he more frequently practiced his polished pen, or a noted military leader had he commanded troops instead of devoting his energies to the logistics of war. His record in the branch of his profession is the brilliant evidence of the great work he performed for his country, made still more conspicuous by his fidelity in the disbursement of $111,000,000 without a penny being disallowed in the settlement of his accounts by the rigid officials of the U. S. Treasury Department.

Thayer's Note:

a1 a2 I've been unable to discover his actual birthdate. The Register has July, 1812; the Web is unanimous in giving Mar. 15, 1811, almost always traceable to a frequently cloned popular site; what the source of either might be — unknown. If you have solid information, drop me a line, of course.

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Page updated: 10 Jul 13